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Highway 12 over the Niobrara River opens

Posted at 11:25 AM, Aug 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-10 12:25:54-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Saturday, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) announced that the Hwy 12 bridge over the Niobrara River west of Niobrara is now open to traffic. March flooding caused significant damage to the bridge, completely washing it out over the Mormon Canal.

“Nebraska’s road to recovery continues to move forward and today marks another great milestone in our state’s efforts to rebuild after the March 2019 floods. The opening of Highway 12 over the Niobrara River is another key link in establishing connectivity for local residents, the community, travelers, and commerce in the area, which have all been so profoundly impacted by the flood damage. NDOT’s work with Benesch and Hawkins Construction on this project has been incredible and our collective efforts are the reason why today’s announcement is possible,” said Governor Pete Ricketts.

On June 5, NDOT was awarded a $44,170,911 contract to Hawkins Construction to begin immediate work to repair the Niobrara River Bridge and install a 24-foot wide, single-lane temporary bridge to provide access over the Mormon Canal while the permanent, new bridge is built.

Reconstruction of Highway 12 was the most complex and expensive transportation flood recovery project in Nebraska, NDOT says.

“As a proud Nebraska company, Hawkins is honored to work alongside NDOT in reconnecting our communities. Highway 12 presented a unique challenge due to the pace and complexity of the project. That, combined with the amount of flood recovery work we were already performing, required us to bring in a team from multiple states – whom we thank for their rapid response and commitment to opening the bridge early. Hawkins, our dedicated workforce, and our project partners are grateful for the opportunity to prove once again that our State is Nebraska Strong,” said Chris Hawkins, Chief Operating Officer of Hawkins Construction.

NDOT also worked with Alfred Benesch & Company to expedite the reconstruction design and set an aggressive schedule to get the temporary roadway in service by August 15.