KEARNEY — The flooding of July 9 extensively damaged Kearney’s hike-bike trail from The Archway to Fort Kearny State Recreation Area, but repairs to the trail and replacement of a pedestrian bridge soon will be underway.
The city of Kearney’s Park and Recreation Director Scott Hayden said contracts have been awarded to rebuild the washed out sections of the trail east of The Archway and to replace the footbridge that’s near the interchange of Interstate 80 and the Kearney East Expressway.
Both projects are expected to be complete in mid-September.
Many meetings and a lot of correspondence had to take place before work could begin, Hayden said, because the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers both were involved.
Diamond Engineering Co. of Grand Island was awarded the contract to replace the damaged foot bridge for $358,130.
Morten Construction of Kearney is repairing the washed out trail for $201,450.
The city submitted the bridge replacement and trail repairs to FEMA for reimbursement as a result of last year’s flooding, Assistant City Manager Eric Hellriegel said. FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of costs, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency will cover 12.5 percent, and the city will pay the remaining 12.5 percent, Hellriegel said.
Kearney’s main hike-bike trail stretches 13.1 miles from Cottonmill Park to Fort Kearny State Recreation Area.
Flooding deposited debris along many places of the trail, and in some places floodwaters undercut the trail by washing away the base on which the trail was built. In some cases, the concrete surface also was washed away.