Gov. Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Transportation revealed Thursday a record-setting $600 million in infrastructure projects slated for construction across the state.
And more than a few Northeast Nebraskans were pleased to see that 20 miles of Highway 275 expressway construction Scribner to West Point was on the list for the coming year.
For example, Josh Moenning, executive director of the 4 Lanes 4 Nebraska coalition based in Norfolk, said, "After decades of inaction on a state promise to taxpayers, we're pleased to see concrete plans for expanding Highway 275. We need to make sure the momentum continues to complete the entire stretch and finish -- once and for all -- Nebraska's longest unfinished expressway project."
The governor and transportation department executives conducted a series of press conferences Thursday, including one Friday in West Point, to coincide with the release of the department’s program book for fiscal years 2019-2024, which details transportation projects scheduled for funding.
“My administration has been committed to making investments in projects all across the state to build the 21st-century transportation network that is helping connect our communities and grow our state,” the governor said. “This record investment of $600 million slated for 2019 builds on the great successes we have achieved over the last few years.”
Kyle Schneweis, director of the transportation department, added, “It’s an exciting time for Nebraska as we continue to make historic levels of investment in our roads and bridges. Gov. Ricketts, along with state and local leaders, have made funding for infrastructure a priority, and we’re putting every dollar to work in the most efficient and effective way possible to build a safe and modern transportation system.”
Projects slated for the upcoming year in addition to the Highway 275 segment are:
— 18 miles of interstate reconstruction near Big Springs and Chappell.
— Statewide pavement and bridge preservation including 14 miles on Highway 283 in Gosper County; 12.5 miles on Highway 77 in Lancaster County; 10 structures on Highway 53 in Thayer County; 11 miles on Highway 64 in Douglas County and 6.5 miles on Highway 76 west of Burwell in Garfield County.
The transportation department’s program book is published annually and reflects projects that have been selected for construction based on need and projected funding availability.
Funding for projects comes from the State Highway Trust Fund, Build Nebraska Act, Transportation Innovation Act, and federal funds.