Federal Infrastructure Bill Accelerates Nebraska’s Plans for 600-Mile Expressway

Nebraska is in the process of criss-crossing the state with a new expressway system. According to state transportation officials, the final push to complete the multi-decade project will be aided by Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding.

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December 19, 2022, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A map showing planned and under-construction segments of roads in Nebraska.

Nebraska Department of Transportation / Nebraska Expressway System

Nebraska is already 30 years and $1.8 billion into a project to add a 600- mile expressway connecting every Nebraska community with more than 15,000 people. The four-lane, divided expressway would connect communities along 16 identified corridors.

Eric Bamer reports in a paywalled article for the Omaha World-Herald that the project is well ahead of schedule and is expected to open four years early, in 2036. The expressway “was projected to be completed in 15 years, but multiple delays extended the project more than three decades.”

After so many decades of delay, the project’s timeline is finally moving the other direction. Nebraska Department of Transportation Director John Selmer told the Nebraska Legislature’s Appropriations Committee recently that barring any “unforeseen issues,” the project could be expected to finish up sooner than originally expected. While work is ongoing, “there’s still about $800 million worth of work to be done, amounting to about 136 miles of roadway,” reports Bamer. “Some of the remaining expressway that’s yet to be completed includes 46 miles encompassing eight projects along U.S. 275 a few miles northwest of Omaha, and 41 miles in six projects along U.S. 81 north of York.”

“Selmer credited the federal bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed in 2021 as one of the main reasons the department was able to accelerate work on the expressway,” according to Bamer.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 in Omaha World-Herald

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