PLATTSMOUTH – An Iowa-based farm management service will be allowed to haul extra rock from a Cass County site to help with railroad construction along the Missouri River.
Cass County Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 Tuesday morning to allow Hertz Farm Management to conduct emergency reclamation of rock through Dec. 31. The company will take the rock from a site near Rock Bluff and transport it to other spots along the Missouri River.
Cass County Zoning Administrator Mike Jensen told commissioners he received a request from Hertz Farm Management last week about the possibility of excavating rock. The company will haul some of the material to Pacific Junction, Iowa, and other portions to Falls City.
Company officials said the main goal of the project was to fix railroad bridges that had been damaged by this year’s historic flooding. Several dozen bridges across the state were either wiped away or partially damaged by water. Many miles of railroad tracks were also affected by water and debris that washed through the area.
Southeast Nebraska suffered a large amount of harm to bridges and tracks because water stayed above flood stage for many months. Residents in places like Falls City and Brownsville have used quarries from northwest Missouri to haul in rock to help with repairs, but it has not been enough. Hertz Farm Management officials said the lack of accessible railroads has affected farmers who have been trying to transport their grain to market.
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Cass County Commissioner Duane Murdoch said he was fine with allowing the company to excavate and haul away the rock.
“With the railroad being in need, I don’t see a problem,” Murdoch said.
The company will likely take the rock from Valley View Drive and then head northwest along Hutchison Lane to reach Young Road. Drivers could then access Highway 75 to transport it to either Pacific Junction or Falls City.
Company officials said they would travel no faster than 15 miles per hour on gravel roads to try to avoid damaging them. Cass County Highway Superintendent Lenny Thorne told commissioners the additional truck traffic would cause more dust to be in the air. Hutchison Lane and parts of Valley View Drive are gravel-surfaced roads.
Hertz Farm Management is based in Nevada, Iowa. The company has Nebraska offices in Omaha and Norfolk.