City of Crete moving forward on Tuxedo Park bridge project, taking in public input

City of Crete moving forward on Tuxedo Park bridge project, taking in public input
A vehicle passes through the Tuxedo Park Road bridge, which is currently only wide enough to hold one vehicle. The city hopes to have a new bridge by 2022 that can take traffic going both directions.

CRETE – The city of Crete has proposed a bridge replacement project for a section of Tuxedo Park Road.

The bridge that’s slated to be replaced is about a quarter-mile north of 13th Street, which is a quarter-mile west of Nebraska Highway 33.

The bridge runs over the Big Blue River, which reached record flood stages back of 30.68 feet in March, and is still running high at 19 feet after more recent rains.

Officials say the hope is to improve the reliability of the bridge, and make it easier for traffic to move in and out of the park more efficiently.

“It’ll also get rid of that undulation (in the road) when you come into the park,” Crete mayor Roger Foster said. “It’s been there quite awhile, and it floods easy. So, it’ll be nice to get rid of that problem.”

Foster said he looks forward to this improvement, because Tuxedo Park Road is a heavily used road with 225 vehicles driving on it daily in 2017. That number is expected to grow to 320 by 2039.

“(The park) also hosts the (Saline) county fair,” Foster said. “So, there’ll be two safe ways in and out of the park. So, if there is ever any type of river flooding, we should always have a way in and out that’s safe.”

Under this proposal, the current truss bridge would be replaced by a new, 125-foot span concrete slab bridge with a 24-foot clear width roadway and a 10-foot clear width bike path.

The estimated cost of the replacement bridge is about $1.5 million, with funding coming at the local, state and federal levels.

Foster says about 20 percent ($223,000) of that comes from city funding.

Construction could start as soon as fall 2021, and could be completed by winter 2022.

On Tuesday, the city held a public information meeting from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Exhibit Building in Tuxedo Park to provide information regarding the proposed bridge project.

Personnel from the city office and the Nebraska Department of Transportation were on hand to answer questions from the public.

Comments can also be submitted to city administrator Tom Ourada until June 19.

You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.

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