The Niobrara River Bridge south of Spencer has opened to traffic as of Wednesday afternoon. The Bridge was washed out in the 2019 March flooding.

Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT)  awarded Hawkins Construction of Omaha the contract to work on the Highway 281 bridge.

The March 2019 flooding caused significant damage and washed out a segment of the highway just south of the bridge. The department authorized the contractor to  to install a single lane "shoofly" with a traffic signal to allow traffic to move through the construction zone temporarily while the bridge was being constructed.

The $25,470,887 contract covers the single lane temporary roadway and bridge as well as a permanent 1,050-foot bridge over the Niobrara River Channel. Hawkins Construction began work at the site on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

The department estimated the permanent bridge to be open by November of 2020 with project completion anticipated to be spring of 2021.

“The Highway 281 project was one of the department’s most complex reconstruction efforts,” said NDOT Director Kyle Schneweis. 

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