Five years after the Elkhorn River flooded the southern portion of Neligh, all that remains are memories - now that the Mill Bridge is open, painted and as good as new.
Earlier this month, the City Council approved payment for painting the bridge black - it's original color - and then the return of the unused portion of the $650,000 anonymous donation that made the bridge rehabilitation possible.
In November 2014, the bridge was dedicated and opened to allow passage to the south of Neligh for the first time since flood waters washed away the south embankment and leaving the bridge almost hanging in the middle of the river.
A 96-foot extension, or jump span, was built to connect the bridge and south bank, thanks to the anonymous grant. With $192,000 remaining after the work was complete, the City asked the donor - through the individual's attorney - to allow remaining funds to go toward sandblasting and painting the bridge, along with street improvements near the bridge.
The donor approved of using the excess funds for the project. Final payment was approved on this month by the council and $13,978.50 was given back to the donor.
The original 140-foot bridge was built in 1910 by Western Bridge and was the first bridge over the Elkhorn River west of Norfolk, according to the Nebraska State Historical Society.