The month of May is budget season for Lancaster county.

During one of their first meetings, a topic of concern is county bridges and how to fix them.

Tuesday's proposal came from Lancaster County Engineering, the department that maintains and repairs county roads, streets and bridges.

Lancaster county engineer Pam Dingman requested an increase in funds. She says, "we are dealing with a crises," regarding the state of the county's bridges.

Dingman reports that over 15% of Lancaster's 285 bridges were damaged due to flooding.

"Our bridges lost a significant portion of their lives in 2015. We were recently hit again in 2019, we have 47 damaged bridges from 2019 (flooding)."

The Nebraska Department of Transportation ranks Lancaster county 65th out of the state's 93 counties in terms of the quality of its bridges.

"I don't think that, as a county, as Lancaster county, and the pride that we put into everything we do, that we really strive to be 65th in anything," said Dingman.

Dingman requested an additional $4.4 million for her department's general funds, the majority of which, would deal with the repair of old and construction of new bridges.

"What I'm really striving to do with this budget is to dramatically increase the reliability of the system and so are moving my request, last year it was about $2 million for bridges, this year it's $6 million," said Dingman.

Dingman says she wants to get out in front of this problem now, before it gets out of hand.

She said, "We have reached the critical point that I have talked about for the last five years," during her budget proposal Tuesday morning.

Dingman says the county is still waiting to be reimbursed by the federal government for damage during the May floods of 2015.

She has been forced to close 12 bridges in 2019 alone due to risk of structural failures.

Budget discussions for Lancaster county will continue throughout the next month, so nothing has been decided yet.

The new fiscal year doesn't start until July 1st.

This story will be updated when a decision on the budget proposal is made.