SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – For the first time since watching their bridge wash away, people in Niobrara are excited to see the first day of construction began on two key bridges in the community. Jody Stark, the Chairman of the Niobrara board, explained what the new project will entail.
“It’s about a $44 dollar project. They’re going to install a temporary bridge that will be completed by August 15th and in the meantime, they’ll work on a permanent bridge that could take up to two years,” said Stark.
Construction crews arrived in Niobrara Tuesday for the first day of work on the temporary bridge. Marilyn Janovec, the owner of Hilltop Lodge Motel, described her excitement to see the bridge began reconstruction.
“We’re very excited and August 15th will be right before school starts and that’s good because those teachers have had to find friends, family, and homes to stay here,” said Janovec.
It’s a big step in the right direction for a town that has dealt with a lot of hardships for the past two months.
“It’s affected travel and recreation, as well as the local businesses. They are feeling the pinch in the local economy of not getting the tourists in here,” said Stark.
Janovec described how she’s feeling the pinch because of the detours and limited access to the community. “It’s been a little slow right now. Normally, it takes about five minutes but now with the bridge out, it takes over an hour,” said Janovec.
It’s why the town is counting down the days until this temporary bridge will allow people to once again easy access to the community.