GRETNA, Neb. — Work will soon begin to fix an eastern Nebraska road that leads to a religious shrine.

The Sarpy County Board approved a $438,000 construction bid from High Plains Enterprises to rebuild Pflug Road last week, Omaha World-Herald reported . The county engineering office had originally estimated that the project would cost around $900,000. The road is being pulled apart by erosive soil and has been closed since last summer.

“It’s been a long frustration,” said Jim Warren, who represents the area on the County Board.

The rural road leads to the Holy Family Shrine near Gretna. Attendance has dropped about 25 percent since the road’s closure, according to Matt Sakowski, the shrine’s caretaker. The glass-walled shrine had 40,000 visitors in 2016. The attraction relies on contributions from visitors.

“People, they do call to check on road conditions,” Sakowski said. When told the road is still closed, “they tell us ‘We’ll wait until the road is fixed,’ ” Sakowski said.

The shrine is also typically a stop for bus tours from surrounding states, but busses have had a difficult time navigating the detour to the attraction.

“Once Pflug Road gets fixed, the buses will have a much easier road to take to get to the shrine,” Sakowski said.

Work will begin when the weather is warmer. Officials expect the road to reopen in the spring.

“We’re really happy,” Sakowski said. “We know that by springtime things are going to be back to normal.”


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com