Several Harvey County employees gathered southeast of Newton Wednesday morning to watch a 24,000-pound railroad tanker get dropped from a semi-truck and roll down a short embankment. The two-ton, 35-foot long tanker, with its ends cut off, is replacing an old, structurally unsound culvert at 48th Street and Rock Road.
At $8,400, the tanker is cheaper to install than building a new culvert would be. The bridge, made of dirt, rock and sand around the culvert, would be ready to receive traffic by the end of the day, county commissioners said. With a concrete culvert and bridge, it would take weeks before it would be open to traffic.
"I think it's the best, economical way we can go by far," county commissioner Ron Krehbiel said as a county employee in a bulldozer packed dirt around the tanker. "It'll be about a fourth of the price of a concrete culvert."
Kalin Johnson, an area resident who came to watch the tanker drop, said the new culvert is "a lot bigger than the old one, and it's wider. It's a fast turnaround. They're doing a great job."