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A quarter-mile section of U.S. 281 was washed away when the Spencer Dam collapsed on March 14. Hawkins Construction of Omaha has been awarded a $25.5 million contract to rebuild the Highway 281 Bridge over the Niobrara River south of Spencer, Nebraska.

Hawkins Construction of Omaha has been awarded a $25.5 million contract to rebuild the Highway 281 Bridge over the Niobrara River south of Spencer, Nebraska.

In March, flooding caused significant damage and washed out the highway just south of the bridge.

Nebraska Department of Transportation Director Kyle Schneweis described the bridge reconstruction as one of the department’s most complex projects as the state recovers from historic flooding.

“We’ve followed a very aggressive schedule ... to expedite construction, and now we are looking at turning dirt less than a week after award of the contract,” he said.

A temporary lane will be built and a traffic signal will be installed to allow travel during construction.

The contract covers the single-lane temporary roadway and bridge, as well as a permanent 1,050-foot bridge over the Niobrara River.

Hawkins Construction will begin work Tuesday, but has already started the process of mobilizing equipment and materials.

The department estimates that the permanent bridge will be open by November 2020 and that the project will be fully completed by spring 2021.

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Flooded U.S. Highway 34 connection reopens

The U.S. Highway 34 connection between Glenwood, Iowa, and Sarpy County in Nebraska reopened Friday afternoon as the region continues repairs on its flood-damaged highways.

The connection — and its link to Interstate 29 — has been closed since the March floods.

Both westbound lanes of U.S. 34 will be open, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation. Eastbound traffic will have only one lane open.

Disaster resources guide released

A consolidated guide for Nebraskans in need of disaster relief resources has been released.

“Navigating government agencies and a wide variety of community partners can seem overwhelming,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a statement.

“The guide will help Nebraskans get connected to available resources more quickly.”

The guide provides resource summaries, hotlines and other contact information for more than two dozen community organizations as well as state and federal agencies.

Printed booklets can be requested by sending an email to nema.jic@nebraska.gov or by calling 402-471-7421.

FEMA looks for workers to help with flood response

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has posted a number of job openings for people needed to help with area flood response.

Listings can be found at USAJobs.gov.

Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Phone: 402-444-1102.

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