Rain causes delays for Hall County road projects

HALL COUNTY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hall County Roads Department is now five weeks behind schedule on their projects after heavy rains.

Rain could delay the project on Airport Road south of Highway 2 and Engleman Road. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB).

One that could be delayed even more is on Airport Road just off of Highway 2 and South Engleman Road. The area has been closed since last fall. Crews are doing some levy work over there and are in the final phase of the Prairie-Moors Creek flood control project.

Steve Riehle, the Hall County engineer, said they wanted to open the road back up Thursday. But crews can't work when the road is sloppy.

He said they feel like they're constantly taking one step forward, and then taking three steps back.

"We're just trying to play catch up every time with the roads," said Steve Riehle. "We've lost five weeks of normal gravel work and normal road maintenance work and knocking down shoulders from the flooding. I think we lose a third of what we gain when we have a significant rainfall event like we did."

Riehle said after the flood hit in March, they identified close to 300 problem areas throughout the county. He said they're now down to about 100 areas.

The county added two drainage areas to their one and six year improvement plan. One is on Airport Road near North Road, and the other near the Meadow Lane Subdivision. Riehle said they're looking at adding dikes or ditches to help with flood control in those areas. he also suggested started a more long-term project with the Nebraska Department of Transportation.

"I think it comes to the top of the memory for everybody when you have a flooding event like this. We need to strike while the memory's hot. While people's memories are fresh. We can see what are the problems, what might be the causes and then try to identify solutions to those," Riehle said.

Other areas the Roads Department hopes to start Wednesday are along Wood River Road, Old Military Road, Gunther Road and Cameron Road.

Riehle said their original plan was to tackle half-mile stretches of roads at a time, but they had to re-strategize because of the weather. He said now they're planning on fixing all the problem areas and laying down gravel.