Applause filled the Bill Davis Room at City Hall on Tuesday night at the regular meeting of the Nebraska City City Council as members took action that begins the timeline for a replacement of the Fourth Corso viaduct.
The viaduct has been closed since the summer of 2015 when holes in the deck were discovered.
An attempt to fix the viaduct was undertaken, but a closer inspection of the structure revealed that a patch wouldn’t do the job.
The viaduct needed to be replaced.
At first, the replacement figured to be costly for the city. Instead of accepting that fate, however, city officials began to work together to find funding.
Vic Johns, the street commissioner for Nebraska City, said a team including Mayor Bryan Bequette, City Administrator Grayson Path, and Construction and Facilities Manager Marty Stovall set to work finding funds.
Thanks to their efforts and to information provided by a private citizen, Ted Beilman, the city was able to significantly lower the cost it would incur to replace the viaduct.
A Tuesday vote of the council awarded Hawkins Construction Company the
contract for replacing the viaduct with the bid amount being nearly six million dollars.
Of that, however, the city hopes to be responsible for between $600 to $800K. State and federal funds will make up the rest of the total.
A work estimate has the new viaduct being constructed between March 1 of this year and autumn of 2019.
That completion date seems to be far away, but having a time table was a major step foward.
When the vote was taken, and Hawkins bid approved, applause seemed only natural.
Johns said he hopes that when the viaduct is completed, the city will get to have another celebratory moment.
“We did a good job of securing outside funding for that,” Johns said. “That would have been an enormous burden to the taxpayer if we would have had to replace that using just our funds.
“We are getting a brand new viaduct for a tremendous price,” he said.