Nebraska Department of Transportation — County Bridge Match Program

Nebraska is a predominantly rural state that relies heavily on roads and bridges for transporting agricultural goods from farm to market. Of the state’s 15,044 bridges, 11,067 are in the county system. Of those, 1,836 bridges are structurally deficient. In order to properly address the problem, the Nebraska Department of Transportation created the County Bridge Match Program in 2016. Formed as part of the Transportation Innovation Act, the program provides up $40 million in funds to counties across the state for the innovative replacement or repair of bridges deemed to be structurally deficient. The program is currently in its fourth round of proposals. Since the program’s inception, $12 million has been approved, with 55 of the 68 counties submitting proposals and over 200 bridges being repaired or replaced. NDOT partnered with the Nebraska Association of County Officials to create a county bridge working group that has been instrumental to the County Bridge Match Program. This working group meets quarterly to select projects that leverage innovative concepts like bridge bundling and improve safety and mobility. Public support for the program has been strong due to the increased mobility in rural areas; resulting in economic benefits for farmers while boosting commerce. As of January 2018, the County Bridge Match Program granted 22 awards totaling $4 million to repair or replace 66 bridges in 35 counties, helping to generate $8.5 million in construction for the state, and increasing access and transportation options for rural communities throughout the state.

Photo/Jake Daniels