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Reopening ceremony held for Lied Platte River Bridge and MoPac Trail

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Posted at 1:34 PM, Jul 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-04 00:06:17-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - A grand reopening ceremony was held for the Lied Platte River Bridge and MoPac Trail on Saturday.

Both were damaged by flooding that ravaged parts of the area in 2019. The Lied Platte River Bridge is the only crossing along the Platte River that connects Lincoln and Omaha by the MoPac Trail.

“It’s incredible to bring together people riding bicycles, other trail users, community leaders and groups, as well as partner agencies who helped us complete extensive repairs to the Lied Bridge following the flood of 2019,” said John Winkler, general manager of the Papio NRD. “Flood damage devastated this popular pedestrian crossing and lack of access to it was certainly felt. We’re thrilled to see it back in action so quickly."

Eric Williams, the natural resources planner for the Papio NRD, said the projects cost more than $525,000. Much of that cost will be reimbursed by FEMA as part of disaster recovery assistance.

The work involved the removal of large debris from the bridge, removal and replacement of damaged parts of the fence and railing, repair and replacement of the ice breaker structures under the bridge, and reconstruction of the trail connecting link from Highway 31 to the east end of the bridge.

“It's been a two-year project collaborating with the Papio-Missouri River NRD and the Lower Platte South NRD and we are super excited to be reopening the Lied Bridge and MoPac Trail after the devastating flood of 2019,” said Adam Johns, a park superintendent at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “It's great that visitors can once again enjoy the wonderful views of the Platte River that this bridge and trail have to offer."

The Lied Platte River Bridge is a former railroad bridge that was converted to bicycle and pedestrian access in 2001. The bridge and connecting trails are part of the Great American Rail-Trail through Nebraska.

“We cannot overstate the importance of having the Lied Bridge back open for bicycling,” said Julie Harris, executive director of Bike Walk Nebraska. “Not only is it a key connection for people riding locally between Omaha and Lincoln, the bridge also provides a regional connection to 120 miles of trail on the west and over 100 miles on the east, creating enormous potential for bicycle tourism in eastern Nebraska."

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