Nebraska official celebrate the start of construction of the Lincoln South Beltway

10/11 NOW at 5
Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 7:01 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Thursday, government officials celebrated the start of construction on the Lincoln South Beltway, five months after the project actually began.

Five months into the project, Hawkins Construction has moved 2.1 million cubic yards of dirt. For comparison, that’s about 280 Good Year Blimps.

For Senator Deb Fischer investment in infrastructure means investment in the future. She was part of the team that passed the Build Nebraska Act in 2011.

“It’s exciting to see these projects happen,” Fischer said. “We want to be able to build for the future in this state, we want to be able to grow Nebraska. We want to build for generations to come.”

Build Nebraska paved the way for the South Beltway, opening up funding. It’s a project that’s been in the works since the 1960′s when Lincoln was much smaller.

“So it’s even more important now to get this project done to be able to help Lincoln continue to grow,” said Governor Pete Ricketts.

This project has been handled by all levels of nebraska state government. Lincoln mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird is the 11th mayor to work on this project. It’s also gone through 10 Nebraska governors, and 13 Department of Transportation Directors.

“What you’re looking at is state, federal, and local partnerships, all committed to the idea that infrastructure is critical,” said Nebraska Representative Jeff Fortenberry. “This is basic public works.”

The project still has 3.2 million cubic yards of dirt to move, 21 bridges to build and just over 61 miles of road to pave.

Yet, even with it opening to the public in three years, this construction plan is expedited compared to previous plans.

“This project is likely to be done in 3 years, save potentially 10′s of millions of dollars and transform our city not next decade, but this decade,” said Senator Mike Hilgers, of District 21.

Construction is set to wrap up in April of 2024.

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