WAHOO – BNSF has resumed talks with Saunders County regarding three potential railroad bridge projects.

Saunders County Public Works Director Steve Mika spoke with BNSF representatives last week as part of negotiations that began last summer regarding three sites that interest the railway.

The railroad owns all three bridges, Mika said. But, improvements on the bridges could help landowners in Saunders County.

One location in Ashland is closed to traffic as a bridge has been removed and left landowners somewhat land-locked as far as accessing their property.

The bridge is just north of the intersection at Highway 63 and 238th Street. The street stops at the highway and the access for farm equipment is trespassing on adjoining land owner property. The road is also accessible by truck on a minimum maintenance road, but not accessible to farm equipment due to another railroad bridge.

The other two bridges are north of Yutan near County Road P. One bridge is closed and the other is open, but has a low tonnage rating, Mika said.

Replacement of the bridge at county roads 6 and P could involve a reroute of the county road due to elevation issues and would cost upward of $4 million. The cost is based off an engineering estimate, Mika said.

There is no timetable for any of the projects, but BNSF resumed a willingness to talk about the projects this year, as they have expressed a desire to increase the load sizes on the railway, he added.

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