September 23, 2016
The Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) and Governor Ricketts announced today $300 million in transportation construction investments, including U.S. 26 from Minatare to U.S. 385, as a 4-lane divided highway, as well as the design of 12 projects, including U.S. 385 from Alliance to Chadron, as a Super 2, and planning of two others. Funded through the Build Nebraska Act (BNA) and the Transportation Innovation Act (TIA), championed by the Governor, these projects will improve safety on our highways, promote economic growth throughout the state –and fulfill the vision of former Governor Kay Orr in 1988 to expand Nebraska’s Expressway System. NDOR has committed construction on all projects will begin by 2024. View NDOR Capital Improvement Projects Webpage
“The Heartland Expressway Association (HEA) is extremely happy to learn that our priorities for the next phases of the 4-lane highway mirror those of the NE Department of Roads. Having the Minatare to US Hwy 385 section listed as a construction project by 2018 assures the completion of the remaining 18 miles needed to complete the 4-lane portion from Kimball to Alliance. We are also pleased that the 59 miles from Alliance to Chadron will be added to the design list as at least a Super 2 configuration, which assures that it will be in line for funding at some point in the future. Our experience in working with the NDOR on this new prioritization process allowed us to have a direct input into that selection. We look forward to continuing that work,” said Deb Cottier, Treasurer for the Heartland Expressway Association.
Construction of U.S. 26 from Minatare to U.S. 385, as a 4-lane divided highway has an estimated project cost of $60M. This construction project was selected because:
- Completes a Gap in the System: Currently, there is an 18-mile stretch of two-lane highway between two sections of US 26 that are already four-lane highway or are planned to be upgraded to four-lane highway.
- Regional and Local Support: This project is part of what is commonly known as the Heartland Expressway Corridor – a project that stakeholders have long stressed the importance of completing.
- Federally Designated High Priority Corridor: The Heartland Expressway Corridor serves as the middle section of the Great Plains International Trade Corridor, which extends from Mexico to Canada. Given its significance for trade and freight transport, it’s one of four federally designated High Priority Corridors that comprise the Ports-to-Plains Alliance.
Design of U.S. 385 from Alliance to Chadron, as a Super 2 for 59 miles. This design project was selected because:
- Regional and Local Support: NDOR will begin design work for a Super 2 on this 59-mile stretch. A Super 2 is a two-lane roadway with paved shoulders and additional passing lanes. Passing lanes will improve safety where truck traffic exists and is growing.
- Federally Designated High Priority Corridor
“The HEA would like to thank not only the NDOR Director Schneweis, but also Governor Ricketts, US Senator Deb Fischer and members of the NE Legislature including Senator Al Davis of the 43rd District, Senator John Stinner of the 48th district and Senator Ken Schilz of the 47th District for their long-time support of this project,” Cottier added.
NDOR has selected $300 million in transportation projects that will be constructed and funded by the Build Nebraska Act (BNA) and Transportation Innovation Act (TIA). Along with those eight construction projects, NDOR is going to begin design work on an additional 12 projects and planning on two others.
These selections come after several months of work during which NDOR engaged more than 2,000 stakeholders to update and expand its project prioritization process. Project selections are based on engineering and economic factors, and are informed by stakeholder input.