The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Commissioners Discuss Possible Changes to Bridge Project


The Cheyenne County Commissioners are looking for options. A bridge project is scheduled for completion, replacing a bridge with two side-by-side culverts.

The conflict is rancher Galen Bartling doesn’t believe his cattle will use the six-foot culverts to cross from one pasture to the other.

The bridge in question is located northeast of Sidney and east of Gurley between County Roads 42 and 45.

Bartling said he is wanting a solution that won’t cost him an extensive investment.

“Gentlemen,” he said to the board of commissioners, “I’m looking for some way not to be out $15,000.”

The commissioners discussed closing the road or installing a box culvert instead of a six-foot diameter pipe culvert. Commissioner Philip Sanders said the county needs to proceed in some manner for the safety of the public.

“We have to do that project. We’re in it already,” he said.

Sanders showed pictures of the condition of the bridge, the road and examples of traffic on the road.

The commissioners also discussed the options of closing the road, maybe only for part of a year, or of using the 6-foot culverts for another project.

“I’m not comfortable with that (amending the project),” Sanders said.

County Attorney Paul Schaub said the road can be closed, initiated by the commissioners or by residents within proximity of the road and bridge. However, that returns to the funds the county and State have already committed to the bridge replacement project.

Sanders said he met with a friend in Dalton County who moves cattle through a six-foot round culvert without any problems. Bartling said it won’t work.

“There’s nothing to make them go through there,” he said.

Commissioner Randal Miller asked if the project can be re-engineered with a square concrete culvert. The six-foot round culverts would then be directed to a different bridge project.

“I want to try everything we can to help you out,” said Sanders.

The discussion was tabled for further research with hope to amend the project for square culverts.


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