Work on Road L to wait for spring, engineering opinion

County Road L has been closed to through traffic since march. It likely will stay closed until repair work starts in the spring.

It will be late next spring before work on County Road L heading west out of Oakland, will commence.

During its Nov. 12 meting, the county Board of Supervisors accepted a contract from Constructors, Inc. to repair the flood-damaged road. The Lincoln-based company submitted a bid of $245,842 to do the work, but part of the company’s offer specified they couldn’t start until May 1, 2020. The bid was the only one the county received for the Oct. 8 opening, but the county’s bidding documents specified a Nov. 30 completion.

Board chairman Dave Schold said Constructors had been approached to adhere to the original timeline but the county was told the company could not comply with the schedule.

The board accepted the bid Nov. 12 in order to preserve what board members thought was a sound price.

The road has been closed to through traffic around the Logan Creek crossing since the spring when March flooding undermined the north half of the roadway.

The county expects some reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for work on the north side. But the county also to wants to resurface the south side at the same time. Schold said road department officials are working with the county’s engineers to make that happen but an answer is not yet available.

Resurfacing L is listed on the county’s One-and Six-Year Road Plan it filed with the state.

Supervisor Gary Swanson said he’s seen people driving around the barricades. Schold said because the road is closed any damage a motorist may incur is the responsibility of the motorist.

Highway Superintendent Ann Chytka said FEMA also is expected to fund, at least in part, replacement of a culvert on County Road V near Decatur. The culvert also is a victim of the spring flooding. The flood washed out a 14-foot, 150-foot long multi-plate tube. Replacing it is expected to cost $113,000 and would have the road back in service the soonest.

She said FEMA would reimburse the county at a higher rate if the county agrees to install a new culvert—essentially putting back what was taken out.

Supervisors also have expressed a desire to replace the structure with something larger, citing the size of the needed culvert and the amount of water the creek carries.

Other options being considered include installing two 10-foot tubes, each of which is 154 feet long; or replace it with a 14-foot square box culvert. The latter would do the best job at preventing another washout, engineers say, but at $250,000 it’s also the most expensive.

If FEMA approves a project, it would pay up to 75 percent of the cost.

Chytka also told the board a letter has been signed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in connection with a plan through the Natural Resources Conservation Service to armor several ditch banks and bridges with rip rap. The county has identified 42 sites and would have 220 days to complete the work with another 220 days available. Chytka said the timeline has not yet started.

Under a contract accepted in June, the county will be responsible for $2.56 million in repair work.

There are 27 jobs on the list the county could do itself. Of those, bids would have to be sought on only five due to their cost. Of those under the $50,000 threshold, work could commence after quotes are requested from three different contractors.

The June contract calls for NRCS to pay no more than $1,698,555.60 for work on the listed jobs.

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