County Roads Facing Dismal Spring Thaw

They just want people to know there are some bad spots ahead

- Sornson

NEBRASKA CITY – Otoe County Commissioner Jerad Sornson says local officials are united with residents who rely on county roads in hopes of some relief from the weather.

Sornson: “The county roads have some really, really bad spots in them. I wouldn’t say one, I would say multiple. I feel everybody’s pain as to how bad they turned out.”

A wet autumn, followed by a pattern of freezing and thawing have left many roads soggy, rutted and impassable. There are 15 households that rely on Q Road, which was barricaded on Monday.

Sornson: “We’ve just kind of, right now we’re in a situation where we have to wait for the weather to break and get some dryness, so we can actually get trucks out there.”

Resident James Cook said road conditions are impacting mail delivery and could isolate households from emergency vehicles. Sornson said the barricades are intended to alert motorists.

Sornson: “They just want people to know there are some bad spots ahead. If you’re in a little car, there are areas where you can’t get through. They are just trying to forewarn there are bad spots in between those barricades.”

Otoe County budgeted $900,000 for rock this year and spent over $1 million in rock the year prior. Sornson said the county has already gone through 68 percent of its rock budget and continues to stockpile road rock.

Sornson: “We will keep them going this spring hard, as soon as this breaks. We want to make people happy and try to get what we can get rocked and get everything fixed, but, with the weather the way that it is … and go as hard as we can the minute the weather breaks and lets us go.”

He said a hard rain once the ground starts to thaw out could pack the road surface and cause it to harden, but a slow, persistent rain would continue to soften the roads.

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