Transportation and Telecommunications

Working group for county bridge match funds advanced

A new working group would award state matching funds to repair and replace county bridges under a proposal that advanced from the first round of debate March 20.

Sen. Bruce Bostelman
Sen. Bruce Bostelman

The program, created by the Legislature in 2016 and administered by the state Department of Transportation, provides state funding to accelerate the repair and replacement of deficient bridges on the county road system. The state reimburses counties for 55% of a selected project’s construction costs, up to $250,000 per bridge.

The Legislature last session extended the program’s sunset date to 2029.

LB1030, introduced by Brainard Sen. Bruce Bostelman, would create the County Bridge Match Working Group, which would develop criteria for program participation, as well as for county matching fund requirements. It also would score applications and award funds.

The governor would appoint two of the group’s members from a list of county highway superintendents, county surveyors or county engineers submitted by a statewide association representing county officials. The department director would select three department members to serve on the group.

Bostelman said the proposed changes came at the request of county officials, who want to be more involved in the process of scoring applications and awarding grants under the program.

LB1030 would require the state treasurer to make two $4 million transfers, one this fiscal year and another in 2025, from the Road Operations Cash Fund to the Transportation Infrastructure Bank Fund to be used for the County Bridge Match Program.

Lawmakers voted 35-0 to advance the bill to select file.

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