Nebraska officials announce plans to finish expressways by 2033

Roads Director Kyle Schneweis, Sen. Jim Smith, and former Gov. Kay Orr watch Gov. Pete Ricketts announce highway plans (Photo by Fred Knapp, NET News)
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September 22, 2016 - 2:38pm

Nebraska officials announced plans today/Thursday to complete the state’s long-delayed expressway program by 2033.

The plan is to use $300 million from funding set aside by the Legislature in recent years to complete the system that was originally designed in 1988. Gov. Pete Ricketts said it is important for the state’s future. “Our three largest industries are agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, all of which require a strong, 21st century infrastructure in order to be able to expand,” Ricketts said. “By moving forward on the Transportation Innovation Act, we will be able to continue to accelerate the work on our expressways, continue to grow the state, kick-start economic growth, and in general make sure that we are positioned for growth in the future.”

For a map and list of projects, click here.

Asked if he has any concerns that the highway projects represent priorities from a previous generation, Ricketts said “I believe that we will be relying on cars and trucks for a long time to come. Will the technologies change? We’re already talking about things like electric vehicles and driverless cars, so of course the technology’s going to change. But I believe that a strong transportation system, certainly as far out as we can see that’s going through 2033 is going to remain an important thing for Nebraska.”

Highways given priority for upgrading to four-lane expressways include U.S. 275 from Scribner to West Point, U.S. 26 from Minatare to U.S. 385, part of the “Heartland Expressway” from Denver to Rapid City, and U.S. 77, the Fremont southeast beltway.



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