Lincoln’s “South Beltway” Gets National Transportation Grant

LINCOLN – Gov.  Pete Ricketts announced that the Lincoln South Beltway project has been selected to receive a competitive $25 million federal grant.

Nebraska Department of Transportation Director Kyle Schneweis said the grant award is a step toward bringing the $300 million project to a reality.

Schneweis:  “The selection of the South Beltway application from a nationwide pool of competitive applicants further validates what many Nebraskans already know about this transformative project – that it will support safety and economic growth in the Lincoln, Lancaster County, and Southeast Nebraska region.”

The proposed South Beltway project would construct a new 11-mile, east-west freeway south of Lincoln. It would link Highway 77 on the west and Highway 2 on the east and would generally be located a half mile south of Saltillo Road.

The purpose of the Lincoln South Beltway is to improve east-west connectivity for regional and interstate travel through Nebraska and to improve safety and reduce conflicts between local and through traffic, including heavy truck traffic, in Lincoln.

The grant is being awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.

In order to be considered for this grant funding, projects needed to display considerable local and state support.

As part of NDOT’s application, letters of support were submitted by local and state elected officials and organizations including:  Governor Pete Ricketts; US Sen. Deb Fischer; City of Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler; State senators Roy Baker, Kate Bolz, Curt Friesen, and Adam Morfeld; Lincoln Chamber of Commerce; Lincoln Independent Business Association; Home Builders Association of Lincoln; and American Council of Engineering Companies.

The Lincoln South Beltway application was one of three different project applications that were submitted by the state.

Since the TIGER grant program was first created, $5.1 billion has been awarded for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure over eight rounds of competitive grants.