BEATRICE - Gage County Board members have yet formally acted on sharing costs of a new bridge with Marshall County, Kansas….questioning whether a bridge is needed.


Gage County Board member Terry Jurgens said officials from both counties recently held a conference call, continuing ongoing discussion of a state line bridge.
Gage County Board Chairman Erich Tiemann described the scope of Marshall County’s request.


"Marshall County would like us to participate in constructing a bridge that goes to a cabin and a piece of ground. The approximate cost would be between 200 to 250-thousand dollars. Our share would be half of that if we choose to participate. There would be additional roadwork that would go along with that. The board discussed back and forth potential options with Marshall County....and that brought us to today."


Jurgens says the matter involves what is essentially a civil matter between two property owners.  "We hate to spend money on a bridge that provides access to two people, basically. Its really costly. We came up with different options....tubes. Marshall County doesn't like tubes....they said in Marshall County, we build bridges. I'd like to see us cooperate with them, but at the lowest cost we can. I don't have an answer."


Supervisor Emily Haxby says a bridge currently at that location is adequate at this time.  "The bridge is no different than somebody building a home on a dirt road. It was their choice to build on that dirt road...they had to build it up to get there. They chose to buy a house behind...on the other side of this bridge...and as of this moment it is still adequate. The other person to this....it's a civil dispute. It has nothing to do with us...and I think we need to stay as far away as possible from that. If we are to do it, I really thinks that tubes would be the best option."


There was no formal vote on a solution when the Gage County Board met, Wednesday. Building a new bridge would include going through a bid process in Nebraska. Supervisor Gary Lytle sees metal tube installation as more than adequate, at much less cost.  Gage County shares a half-dozen bridges with Marshall County….three of them are box culvert crossings.