The Nebraska Department of Transportation met with residents in Niobrara on Wednesday. They discussed future repairs for many roads affected by last month’s historic flood.
During the historic 2019 flood, the town of Niobrara was hit hard. Transportation to the town has become nearly impossible.
“It’s been taxing, it’s been emotional and we are ready to get back to a sense of normalcy. That we can start to operate and not think about being in reaction mode all the time,” said Margaret Sandoz with Niobrara Public Schools.
Margaret Sandoz is the superintendent for Niobrara Public Schools. Since the flooding, some of her students have to drive more than an hour to get to school, a ride that once took 15 minutes.
“We got some bridges that need to be replaced and those are the things that are causing the most impact to people,” said Kyle Schneweis with the Nebraska DOT.
On Highway 12 west of Niobrara, one bridge is completely gone and on 281 south of Spencer, a new bridge is set to be built on a quarter mile of road that is still flooded. The plan is to have two temporary bridges built by August, with permanent bridges finished by 2020.
“In the whole scheme of things, we want it to be done sooner than that because we have so many things that the community depends on west of town,” said Sandoz.
“The worst part is just the time it takes us an hour and 15 minutes to come to the town where it used to be 5 minutes so it’s difficult,” said Mark Simpson who lives in Niobrara.
The Nebraska Department of Transportation says they are working as quickly as possible to fix the problem.