Bridge on Fort Kearney hike bike trail

The city of Kearney plans to replace a flood damaged bridge on the Fort Kearny hike-bike trail with a steel truss design. This steel bridge is near Interstate 80 on the hike-bike trail.

KEARNEY — This summer, the city of Kearney plans to replace the foot bridge and sections of the hike-bike trail from Fort Kearny to Cottonmill Park that were destroyed or damaged in the July 9 flood, but first the city must receive contractor bids that fall within engineers’ cost estimates.

On Tuesday, the Kearney City Council will be asked to approve the plans and specifications to replace the Cherry Avenue pedestrian bridge that was washed away in the July flood. Also up for approval are the plans and specifications to rebuild parts of the trail that were undercut and compromised by floodwaters.

Engineers’ estimates indicate it will cost $250,000 to $350,000 to replace the pedestrian bridge and another $200,000 to $325,000 to rebuild the damaged hike-bike trail along a 2.6-mile stretch close to The Archway.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay 75 percent of the cost of the bridge and trail projects. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency will pay 12.5 percent, and the city will pay 12.5 percent.

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According to a memo to the City Council, the new bridge will be a steel truss style that will be relocated just west of the existing structure.

The contractor will remove the existing bridge and pile riprap at either end of the new bridge to protect abutments. Oak Creek Engineering of Kearney designed the 85-foot bridge.

Kearney Park and Recreation Director Scott Hayden said the July flood damaged several sections of the hike-bike trail and the North Channel of the Platte River.

“Due to this damage, approximately 2.6 miles of the hike-bike trail has been closed between The Archway and the I-80 trail underpass,” Hayden said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had to approve the river bank restoration process.

Hayden estimates reconstruction of damaged trail will be complete in September. Bid opening for the bridge and trail projects will be Feb. 18.

Tuesday’s council meeting is open to the public and is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 18 E. 22nd St.