LINCOLN — Today, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) released its 2020 Construction Program, which details transportation projects scheduled for funding over the next year and identifies those planned for construction in the following five years. With the announcement came news that the Department’s strategy for 2020 will be slightly altered due to the historic flooding of 2019.
“The Department’s 2020 Program Book looks a bit different from what communities and the construction industry are used to,” said NDOT Director Kyle Schneweis. “The program, which is essentially a statewide list of asset preservation and capital improvement projects, will be a living document, housed on our website and updated periodically.”
The 2020 Program Book will be focused on the one-year construction program and categorize both asset preservation and capital improvement projects as either in the 2020 construction program or as stand-by projects. Stand-by projects are those that the Department is not able to fully commit to for letting in 2020 but anticipates opportunity and is preparing to support moving projects forward to either letting or construction dependent on cash flow.
When factoring in an estimated $153 million in emergency expenses, the Department’s 2020 Program is a record $782 million. Notably, the 2020 list includes three capital improvement projects that have been long awaited: the Lincoln South Beltway; Fremont Southeast Beltway; and the Highway 83, Super 2 Frazier Creek North & South between North Platte and McCook.
“Nebraska is a pay-as-you-go state and NDOT has a longstanding philosophy of getting the money on the road, quickly,” said Schneweis. “This suits us well, but when faced with a $150 million plus disaster, we need a few months to cash flow recovery efforts. We are in a good place and as federal reimbursements come through, we’ll update the construction list and return to our regularly scheduled program.”
In addition to the 2020 program the Department also published projects in its five-year planning program as well as capturing, by NDOT District, the investment in the system that was made over the spring and summer of 2019 to repair flood damage. The Districtwide Emergency Repairs line gives the estimated dollar amount required to rebuild the federal-aid transportation system.
NDOT is responsible for nearly 10,000 miles of roads and 3,500 bridges. Funding for NDOT projects comes from the State Highway Trust Fund, Build Nebraska Act, Transportation Innovation Act and federal funds. More information and a list of projects can be found at: https://dot.nebraska.gov/projects/publications/program-book/.