By Associated Press - Monday, October 13, 2014

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) - Work will soon begin on a new bridge in the Fort Kearny Hike-Bike Trail so long as Nebraska’s Game and Parks Commission gives its final approval.

Simon Contractors of Cheyenne, Wyoming, has signed and returned a $1.8 million contract to build a new passage over the Platte River and pave a nearly 2-mile trail, the Kearney Hub reported ( ). The state commission must give its final approval of the contract, which calls for work to start next month and finish within 120 days.

Former Game and Parks commissioner Bill Berryman of Kearney led an effort to raise the $367,000 required as the 20 percent match to federal funds funneled through the Nebraska Department of Roads. He said it took two years to gather all of the funds needed, one year to “get all the federal agencies to sign on to pay 80 percent of the cost” and another year to raise the matching 20 percent.

A March 2009 wildfire destroyed the 300-foot-long wooden railroad channel bridge over the river’s north channel. Officials said it was the first time since the 1870s that there wasn’t a bridge over the channel.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Assistant Director Roger Kuhn of Lincoln said the repaved trail will feature 10-foot wide pavement, plus 4 to 5 feet of shoulders. Grass will be on one side of the trail and limestone will be on the other.


Information from: Kearney Hub,

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