Following an EIS to study the possibility of constructing a beltway around the south side of Lincoln, Nebraska, Benesch was selected by the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County and the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, to complete the Environmental Assessment, preliminary and final design. The beltway includes a new, eleven-mile east-west connection from U.S. Highway 77 to 134th Street.
The purpose of the project is to complete the circumferential transportation network around Lincoln which currently exists only on the north and west sides. The project will move traffic around Lincoln’s congested urban area and improve traffic flow on the existing urban street system. This will greatly improve the regional and interstate connectivity through Nebraska and reduce conflicts between local and through traffic, including heavy truck traffic, in Lincoln.
Because of the potential to locate the beltway near farmsteads, historical and park properties, alignments were very carefully chosen to minimize or eliminate as many impacts as possible. Coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) regarding cultural and historical resources and park land issues was crucial. The Benesch team did additional economic analyses to demonstrate the need for the new freeway system and to compare the various alignment alternatives to find the most cost effective location. An extensive public participation program involved several public meetings, including a public hearing for the Environmental Assessment and stakeholder meetings throughout design with affected property owners.
At $300 million, this project is the largest active transportation project in Nebraska. Benesch is currently the prime consultant for NDOT, developing final design plans and geotechnical services for the South Beltway segment. The beltway includes two system interchanges, 43 miles of roadway alignments, 23 bridges and 11 roundabouts.
Construction is planned for 2020.