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.

Read Time: 1 minute

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

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

View of stone-paved street with pedestrians and "Farmers Market" neon sign on left and old buildings on right in Seattle, Washington

Push and Pull: The Link Between Walkability and Affordability

The increased demand for walkable urban spaces could make them more and more exclusionary if cities don’t pursue policies to limit displacement and boost affordability.

January 27, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

View of Tacoma, Washington with Mount Rainier in background

Tacoma Developing New Housing Policy

The city’s Home in Tacoma plan is designed to address the region’s growth and rising housing prices, but faces local backlash over density and affordability concerns.

February 2 - The Urbanist

Green alley under construction

Green Alleys: A New Paradigm for Stormwater Management

Rather than shuttling stormwater away from the city and into the ocean as quickly as possible, Los Angeles is now—slowly—moving toward a ‘city-as-sponge’ approach that would capture and reclaim more water to recharge crucial reservoirs.

February 2 - Curbed

Aerial view of residential neighborhood in La Habra, California at sunset

Orange County Project Could Go Forward Under ‘Builder’s Remedy’

The nation’s largest home builder could receive approval for a 530-unit development under an obscure state law as the city of La Habra’s zoning laws hang in limbo after the state rejected its proposed housing plan.

February 2 - Orange County Register