Butler County still working to get repairs done following storms

BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Weeks ago, areas of south central Kansas were pummeled by heavy rain, causing widespread issues that some areas are still trying to sort through.

In Butler County, officials say they are weeks behind in their work on roads and bridges. It includes basic repairs that have piled up after all the water washed away some of their infrastructure.

Still, for many residents, only one spot stood out in their mind, a nationally registered, historical bridge that goes over Polecat Creek.

“We just hate to see it taken down or not put back the way it was,” said George Lemieux who has lived down the street from the bridge 26 years. “It is a historical bridge and it’s beautiful, like I said, but it was a lot a work put in there and it’s been there a long time.”

Storms came through knocking rocks off the top of the bridge and seeping water into the structure. Residents of Butler County, like Lemieux, want to see it fixed, and county commissioners agree. Work was done quickly, but not before another storm rolled through.

“It wasn’t fixed, we hadn’t even found all of the rocks that had washed away,” recounted Butler County commissioner Dan Woydziak, “And then, approximately three weeks later, we’d put shoulder work and done quite a bit of repair work, and the townships had too, and then we get the second one which actually did more damage than the first.”

While the bridge is still being used by people in the area, officials say they want to make sure they do the work to fix it and make sure it is done right, but warn that it will take time. They estimate the work won’t be able to truly start for a few more weeks.

“The last thing we want to do is prematurely open and put significant amount of traffic on that bridge when it’s not safe,” said Woydziak, “so we have a lot of work to do before we can do that.”