NIOBRARA, Neb. (KCAU) — When the bridge on Highway 12 washed away the school was impacted, buses had to drive for over an hour to pick up students when it used to be just a small trip to get an education.
“Nothing, nothing like this nothing that hit us this hard,” said Adam Dekay a senior in high school.
Adam Dekay lives on the west side of town where the bridge washed away. He had to relocate in order to make it to school.
“My grandma she lives over in Niobrara so I would have to go through Pitchel Ville it was the only bridge that wasn’t out. It was about an hour and a half to get to Niobrara,” Dekay mentioned.
Margaret Sandoz said not only did this impact travel for students but it was traumatic for everyone.
“It created a lot of tension and trauma to people who they might not have realized they have to experience at this point in time. They just know that something bad happened and they are still dealing with some of those feelings and thoughts,” Margaret Sandoz, the school’s superintendent said.
The Nebraska DOT says they were listening and worked to get this bridge open as soon as they can.
“We have been working with the community trying to understand the impacts because this is a long detour and if you are trying to get to school, it is brutal but to get this thing open before school starts is quite an accomplishment,” Kyle Schneweis the director of Nebraska DOT added.
“The Friday that it happened you could have heard cheers of joy from the Niobrara community that it had been opened,” Sandoz stated.
School buses now are taking students to and from school in half the time and Dekay is back home finally.
“It’s nice to be back home,” Dekay said.
The Nebraska Department of Transportation says they hope to have the full bridge completed by August next year. In just a year’s time, hopefully, life in Niobrara will be back to normal.