Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
Three years ago, I signed into law LB 84, known as the Build Nebraska Act. This law provides funding to state highway capital improvement projects. Funding is from one-quarter of one percent of sales tax revenue. At least 25 percent of the revenue is to be used for construction of the expressway system and federally-designated high priority corridors. The remaining funds are to be used to pay for surface transportation projects of the highest priority.
Recently, the focus of our roads program has been on the asset preservation of our current roads and bridges. That left hardly any funds for many much-needed capital improvement projects throughout the state.
As state government begins a new fiscal year July 1, there are new highway improvement projects underway in Nebraska as a result of LB 84 funding. As you may recall, our ten-year plan includes 17 capital improvement projects. The first of these projects are already under construction.
The six projects are: Highway 133-Blair to Omaha, the Kearney East Bypass, the Wahoo Bypass, I-80 Eastbound 126‑96th Street in Omaha, I-80 Westbound-I‑480‑60th Street in Omaha, and I-680 Northbound-Center to Pacific in Omaha.
The second group of projects is planned for fiscal years 2016‑2019. These projects are either in the final or preliminary design phases. These six projects are the Heartland Expressway-Highway 385-Link 62A to Alliance, I-80 NW of Lincoln, Highway 75 from Plattsmouth to Bellevue, Highway 6 southeast of Hastings, Highway 30 from Schuyler to Fremont, and a new Highway 75 interchange southeast of Nebraska City.
The third group includes major projects being planned for funding and construction in fiscal years 2020-2023. These projects include the south beltway around Lincoln, widening Highway 30 west of Grand Island and Highway 34/75 from Murray to Plattsmouth, a new interchange for I-80 at 24th Street in Omaha, and conversion of at-grade intersections to interchanges at US 77 around west Lincoln.
These roads projects are critical to Nebraska's future. Equally relevant and timely is what a good transportation system does to stimulate economic growth. The resulting economic vitality means more jobs, more enterprising residents, and ultimately, more tax dollars for our communities.
The focus remains on improving safety, delivering projects and taking care of the state's transportation assets. This will continue while taking care of the natural environment, bringing mobility to the traveler, implementing good fiscal management and working together with our citizens that use Nebraska highways. Nebraska is on the move, and we want this momentum to continue.