The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) announced on Dec. 20 that Hawkins Construction of Omaha has been awarded the contract to construct the Lincoln South Beltway. Once complete, the South Beltway will improve safety and regional mobility by connecting U.S. Highway 77 (US-77) and existing Nebraska Highway 2 (N-2).

The Lincoln South Beltway is the largest and one of the most complex projects the NDOT has undertaken. The $352,191,375 contract will cover construction of an 11 mile east-west four-lane freeway that will reduce congestion on N-2 through Lincoln and improve regional mobility. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring of 2020 with the freeway anticipated to be open to traffic in spring of 2023.

“Awarding the contract for Lincoln South Beltway is decades in the making,” said NDOT Director Kyle Schneweis. “A lot of work has gone into getting us to today’s announcement and it brings us one step closer to breaking ground on a project that will improve the quality of life for many Nebraskans.”

The NDOT has already acquired most of the required right of way and has begun work on removing vegetation in the area of the new roadway. Additional public meetings will be announced at a later date which will provide local residents with information on timing of work that may impact their normal travel routines.

The NDOT has been working towards delivery of the South Beltway for decades and following passage of the Build Nebraska Act, the NDOT was able to partner with City of Lincoln, Lancaster County and the US Department of Transportation to secure funding and prioritize the project.

Last February the NDOT announced it would use an innovative financing approach to accelerate construction of the project to allow it to be built over three years but paid for over the same eight-year time frame originally laid out in the phased approach.

Information on the project can be found at https://dot.nebraska.gov/lincoln-south-beltway/. Information on the Build Nebraska Act and detailed information on the financing approach for the Lincoln South Beltway can be found at https://dot.nebraska.gov/media/112882/2019-bna-tia.pdf.