Accident at Enders dam forces rerouting of traffic

    The highway was shut down and traffic had to be rerouted for about an hour last Thursday when a Kansas pickup pulling farm equipment damaged fencing on the bridge over Enders Dam.
    Chase County Sheriff Kevin Mueller said the road over the dam was closed, and traffic was rerouted below the dam as cleanup took place.
    According to Mueller’s report, Jerome Petz, 46, of Colby, Kan., was northbound in a 2017 Ford pickup pulling a Sunflower Flowmaster chisel across the bridge when part of the chisel caught the safety fencing above the guard rail on both sides of the spillway.
    Petz was making the farm equipment delivery for Colby Ag Center.
    The sheriff’s office was alerted about 11 a.m., Mueller said, and with assistance from the State Patrol  shut down traffic across the bridge once arriving on scene.
    Traffic was rerouted on both the north and south to the road that runs east of the dam, and the Nebraska Dept. of Roads and Game & Parks Commission were contacted, Mueller said.
    Once debris was cleaned off the roadway, it was reopened to traffic.
    An estimated $15,000 in damage was done to the fencing from the impact, he said.
    No tickets were issued to the driver, but Sheriff Mueller said Petz should not have tried to cross the dam with equipment that wide.
    In similar instances in the past, Mueller said his office has been contacted ahead of time and they will provide a temporary shutdown of the bridge for wide loads.


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