According to Don Brittain with Public Works, the final engineering drawings have been sent to the railroad and an answer is expected in the coming days. Once that approval is given, the county will begin the final design of the span and then send it out for bid. Brittain says they still hope to begin work on the bridge in 2019.
The bridge has been in failing condition for several years and was restricted to automobiles only last year. The restriction forced Buhler school buses to find a different route to Prairie Hills Middle School.
The county has wanted to replace the bridge for many years, but its close proximity to what was then K-61 Highway and the railroad tracks made it cost prohibitive.
Now that the highway is a county road, the state restrictions on the highway are gone. The bridge is one of several the county plans to bond out so it can be repaired or replaced. The proposal also includes replacing the Nickerson Road bridge over the Arkansas River just south of Nickerson.