The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) has been instrumental in helping dozens of counties across the state replace or repair over 300 bridges using project bundling. This effort is part of the agency’s expansive Nebraska County Bridge Match Program (CBMP), which was originally created in 2016 after the state was ranked fifth in the country for its number of structurally deficient or poor bridges.
The CBMP, which will run until June 2023, encourages counties to select bridges from an eligible list and submit proposals accordingly. The transportation agency administers the program using the Transportation Infrastructure Bank Fund and is allowed to spend no more than $40 million to promote innovative solutions.
Through this program, participating counties can preserve local control of their projects by utilizing local consultants and contractors.
“It’s a voluntary program,” said NDOT State Bridge Engineer Mark Tryanowicz. “We put out a request for proposals once a year. The county has to put an application in or propose. And so, their role really is to figure out what bridges they want to bundle and who they want to work with.”
A partnership between county officials, bridge authorities and NDOT personnel was formed to create this program for bridge replacement and rehabilitation. The working group conducted intensive meetings in the early months to establish the program and continues to meet throughout the year. Now that the program is well established, their meetings focus primarily on refining the program and preparing for annual proposals and the selection process.
NDOT’s initiative has proven to be an effective approach for smaller bridge projects. In the first five years, 84 out of 106 projects involved bundles of two to nine bridges. Additionally, counties are working in cooperation with neighboring areas to create bundles across county lines with 41 projects involving multiple county partnerships.
SOURCES: NDOT, FHWA