Accessibility,  Nebraska,  Quality of Life Benefits of Transportation

Historic Nebraska Flooding (Part 1 of 3)

In March of 2019, the State of Nebraska experienced a major disaster that caused severe damage to the state highway system and the local road network. The Nebraska Department of Transportation and local public agencies initiated emergency repair to damaged roadways, bridges, culverts, and other actions such as emergency flagging/barricade and detour/operations.  These repairs/operations needed to be completed immediately to restore traffic, minimize the extent of damage, or protect the remaining facilities.  

NDOT staff immediately began working around the clock to restore roadways for safe travel while keeping the public informed.  NDOT held open house public meetings in districts impacted by the flood to share information about its flood recovery plan and Emergency Relief projects in response to the historic flooding.  Nebraska residents and visitors were encouraged to attend.  NDOT also initiated a comprehensive website sharing important information about the flood. Updates were regularly shared regarding road and bridge openings via press releases, Twitter updates, and the website. 

NDOT was commended on its ability to quickly open roads and one factor that made this possible was expedited contracting and permitting.  Kendall Stege, construction contracts letting manager explained this effective process saying, “NDOT coordinated with industry partners to ensure a strategy was implemented that was cost-effective and in the best interest of the public.  In-house staff and consultants expedited the design of the flood-damaged sites. Force-Account procedures were utilized for many sites which allowed NDOT to partner with available contractors to complete work on a time and materials basis.  For contracts not utilizing Force-Account procedures, NDOT utilized an abbreviated-advertisement period, electronic bid submission and digital-signature technology to receive bids and award and execute contracts in an expedited manner.”

Today all but a half-mile of pavement and three bridges have been restored of the estimated 200 miles damaged pavement 27 damaged bridges.

Read additional stories from this state: