Gov. Ricketts, Department of Transportation Release 2019 Infrastructure Projects

July 5, 2018 - 4:28pm

Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Transportation have released the 2019 fiscal year plans for infrastructure projects. The state will set a record with $600 million spent on transportation infrastructure during this fiscal year.

The $600 million is financed through two major sources, state and federal funding. Federal funds account for $263 million out of the $600 while Nebraska’s Highway Trust Fund, Build Nebraska Act and Transportation Innovation Act account for the remainder.

Governor Ricketts says this is an important area to put the money toward because of how many other departments rely on infrastructure to fuel the economy.

“Our three largest industries are agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, all of which depend upon a strong transportation infrastructure to be able to grow. So if we’re going to grow our state and create more opportunities for young people, we have to have that 21st century infrastructure. Which is why programs like what we have going on here are so important. This record high investment in our transportation infrastructure will help us make sure we can continue to grow our state in the future,” Ricketts said.

Governor Ricketts says more than 90 different projects will be worked on in the coming year because of these funds.

“You will see that there are going to be projects on this like (Highway) 275 in our first design build. But also the Lincoln South Beltway and the Freemont Southeast Bypass,” Ricketts said.

Director of the Department of Transportation, Kyle Schneweis, says the design builds will be a big focus moving into the future. A design build is a project delivery system in which the designer and contractor of the project are one in the same.

“We can save 2 to 4 years on the process of delivering a highway project with the design build approach. So we’re piloting our first one, we’re fast and furious on Highway 275 between Scribner and West Point, and we hope to break ground on that project in fiscal year 2019,” Schneweis said.

One of the biggest projects for the Department of Transportation is the Lincoln South Beltway.

“We have to get the freight traffic out of the city, out on the bypass… It’s going to be a huge safety improvement, a huge mobility improvement for our community,” Schneweis said.

The agency released its transportation infrastructure plans for the next five years through 2024.

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