Nebraska bridge repairs on hold

By: KLKN Newsroom

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ A bill intended to accelerate Nebraska bridge repairs while saving money has been shelved for the year after county officials and small engineering firms objected.

The measure presented to a committee on Monday would have created a state commission with the power to sign construction agreements on multiple projects at once. Supporters say bundling the projects would save money because it’s more efficient than counties bidding out projects one a time.

County officials argue the bill would create another layer of bureaucracy. Small and mid-sized engineering firms say it would hurt their business by creating projects which can only be handled by large firms.

Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion asked the committee not to act on his bill this year, saying he’ll work on possible changes.