COLERIDGE, Neb. (KCAU) – During the month of March, record floods destroyed many homes, businesses, and communities. Donations have been pouring into Nebraska from all over the country as much of the state continues to recover from the March floods. But on Tuesday, an unusual and huge gift arrived from Virginia.
A Virginia company called Wise Services and Recycling reached out to the Nebraska Farm Bureau to see if they could use a recycled functional bridge. The bridge has now found a home in Coleridge, Nebraska.
“We have had so many people from Nebraska and around the U.S. and really around the world that have heard about the need we have here in Nebraska and have responded in some way,” said Steven Nelson, the president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau.
Cedar County Commissioner Craig Bartels says 32 bridges were impacted by the flooding in March.
“I told the folks when they called, I said I don’t know where we’re going to use this bridge or where it might fit. You know, we don’t have a cookie cutter spot for that bridge to fit into but we will make a spot,” said Bartels.
After connecting with officials in Cedar County, the next challenge for the Virginia scrap metal recycling company was to figure out how to transport the massive bridge halfway across the country.
“He said, ‘These folks in Nebraska have had all this flooding and they’re really in need of a bridge so will you haul it for us?’ and I said, ‘Of course, we will.’ So the next couple of weeks, we spent planning where, when and how,” said Pete Read, the owner of Read Transportation.
Read Transportation took on the challenge free of charge leaving Virginia on Monday and arriving in Coleridge Tuesday afternoon.
“I can find myself getting a little bit emotional when you think of a guy like Jessie from Virginia that you have never met and is going to ship a bridge 1248 miles to a someone he has never met I think that’s pretty neat,” said Bartels.
Right now, county officials still don’t know exactly where the bridge will be placed. They’re hoping to use components of the donated bridge to help repair issues in two different areas.