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Heavy rain damages southeast Nebraska highway

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 9:18 AM CDT
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MURRAY, Neb. (WOWT) - Heavy rain across the Metro overnight caused the partial collapse of an earthwork embankment leading up to a bridge that spans Union Pacific Railroads in Murray, south of Plattsmouth.

But Tonya Brown who walks her dog Chevy across the bridge every day says she saw a problem before the rain started to fall.

“There’s a big crack like the sidewalk was up two feet from the road yesterday, and they filled it with asphalt but clearly doesn’t fix it,” Brown said.

The sidewalk is still intact but, the road beside it is crumbling.

“There’s no more walking to the highway,” Brown said, petting Chevy.

The bridge connecting the town of Murray to Highway 75 was already under construction, set to be replaced by an Iowa-based company called Graham Group.

According to Schemmer’s website, the company hired by NDOT to design the replacement, the bridge was down to one lane for repairs.

Now it’s impassable, making life harder for Brown and neighbors.

“It’s not ideal. He said the only paved way is to go all the way to 54th St. because that’s the next paved road into Plattsmouth,” Brown said.

Even though the bridge has only been closed for a few hours, Brown has already noticed people diverting through the side streets of Murray and blowing through stop signs.

“Our kids are used to being able to run around and not worry about it because it’s typically fairly safe. But I don’t think it’s going to be now,” Brown said.

On the Schemmer website, the replacement project was slated to be done in late Fall 2021, no word on what this collapse does to that timeline.

A picture tweeted by Nebraska DOT showed the damage on the road leading up to the viaduct, which was reported to be intact. However, the road was closed to all traffic.

Repair work had already restricted traffic in the area. Drivers were asked to detour around the area using Highways 66 or 34.

Contractors have been out since early this morning surveying the damage.

NDOT engineer Tim Weander said in a statement: “At this time we don’t know what the repair will require. The contractor (Graham Construction) and NDOT are investigating and it may take a little time to evaluate the reason, the repair strategy, and the construction required.”

Weander said he assumes the bridgework will continue with the repair to the embankment occurring concurrently.

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