A much, much longer drive home

January 4, 2017 GMT

Bridge replacement 5 miles south of Maxwell means 24-mile detour for some area residents

County officials say the inconvenience of a 24-mile detour is necessary to replace a bridge located about 5 miles south of Maxwell.

South Cottonwood Road crosses over the NPPD canal after branching south from Fort McPherson Road. The planned replacement of Cottonwood Bridge will require residents living on the south side of the canal to take a circuitous 24-mile route on rural roads through the canyons in order to cross over the waterway.

“It’s a pretty long detour route,” said Lincoln County Highway Superintendent Carla O’Dell.

O’Dell reported Tuesday to the Lincoln County commissioners on the bridge construction schedule.

The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District wanted to start the project Feb. 26, O’Dell said, but Simon Contractors asked to move it to Jan. 16. O’Dell said construction is expected to last about 10 weeks, depending on weather.

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After a lengthy discussion during a public hearing Dec. 20 in Maxwell, it was decided that starting construction would be better earlier than later.

CNPPID accepted the bid of $448,902 from Simon Contractors on Oct. 4 for the project.

Also on Tuesday, the board approved a request from Kyle Mull for an Eagle Scout project on the McDonald historical marker south of Fort McPherson.

“This project is to clean and move the McDonald statue so it can be safely viewed,” Mull said.

Mull plans to clear the ground, remove trees and create a turnoff so the statue can be more easily viewed. The marker is currently located on East Fort McPherson Road.

“The marker will be moved 200 feet to the east, where we plan to build a turnoff,” Mull said.

In 2013, Mull’s brother Logan finished his Eagle Scout project on the Fort McPherson statue, which sits just down the road from the McDonald marker.

The commissioners approved the project and also agreed to provide crushed concrete for the turnoff and parking area near the marker.