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Governor Pete Rickett (R) and the Nebraska Department of Transportation held a press event on October 17 to mark the completion of a new 14-mile section of the Heartland Expressway.

[Left to right in above photo: Mayor Mike Dafney; Gov. Ricketts; Nebraska DOT Director John Selmer. Photo by Nebraska DOT.]

With support from local advocates, Nebraska DOT said it has been making significant progress on the Heartland Expressway. That included winning an $18.3 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America or INFRA program grant in June of 2018 from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help complete the new highway section.

Photo by the Nebraska DOT

“The Heartland Expressway will be a vital north-south corridor within our national transportation network,” said Gov. Ricketts in a statement.

“Its construction will significantly increase the flow of freight from America’s border with Canada all the way to ports along the Gulf of Mexico,” he added. “The completion of the Heartland Expressway will create great opportunities for economic growth in the Nebraska Panhandle as businesses make use of this strategic transportation route.”

“The work completed here is only the next phase in a longer, multi-year project,” explained Nebraska DOT Director John Selmer. “We are here to celebrate progress on a system that will improve mobility in the region and enhance safety.  We look forward to being out here again, celebrating the next segment completion.”

In a related effort, the Nebraska DOT opened a new Omaha-based State Operations Center in June that serves as a centralized command center to monitor and operate the state’s highway network.

“The new State Operations Center advances our mission to provide more effective and efficient service to Nebraskans,” said Gov. Ricketts at the time.

“The center will improve the State’s ability to update motorists on travel conditions,” he noted. “Providing timely information helps drivers make smart decisions behind the wheel so they can stay safe and avoid traffic.”

editor@aashto.org

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