Trying to move around Highway 75 south of Union, Nebraska will be difficult for a while. Work crews are busy repairing the road and bridges.
The official detour is Highway 34 to Highway 50 and onto Highway 2. The detour is creating too much traffic in some spots and not enough in others.
While Highway 75 is closed for repairs, Johnson’s Gas and Go is still open. There isn’t much going on outside the gas station and not much going on inside either.
Peggy Allen works there and said, “Business has slowed down drastically. More than half our business is gone the local people are coming in to support us so we're staying open for them.”
The locals who do find the Gas and Go are traveling the gravel roads, coming in the back way on South 6th Avenue. The gravel roads are not used to all the traffic and can be tricky.
Nancy Wheeler is a home health care nurse. She travels from Nebraska City to Plattsmouth and now she has to take the back roads to save time.
She said, “I have to go up to Plattsmouth a couple of times a week. It’s a pain but I'll do it. I'm a country girl. I grew up on gravel. I can survive. My car will look awful but...”
There’s no traffic in front of Union Orchard. Manager Steve Harris says Highway 75 took a beating during the flood.
He said, “According to the State of Nebraska, the road is totally shot. There’s water under the concrete. All the bridges are shot and I think it comes, a lot of it, when 29 they had all the problem with the floods and all this and that they diverted all the traffic over here.”
Everyone agrees it will be great when it’s done but before that happens, things could be tough for area business owners and anyone who has to travel the back roads.
State officials hope to have enough work on Highway 75 completed to open up traffic by mid-September just in time for the annual Applejack Festival.