Dr. Ernie Goss of Creighton University will be in West Point at noon on Tuesday at the Nielsen Community Center and at the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce building in Norfolk at 3:30 Tuesday to outline his economic impact study on the Highway 275 project.
Created in 1988, the Expressway System was designed to link larger Nebraska communities (those with 15,000 or more in population) to the Interstate System with four-lane highways. Nearly 500 of the plan’s original 600 miles have been completed. Of the approximately 100 miles that are left unfinished, Hwy 275 in northeast Nebraska is about half (46 miles). The other half is Hwy 81 from York to Columbus (42 miles).
Through 2006, the Expressway System was a priority of the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR). You could find it featured front and center in NDOR’s “2006 State Highway Needs Assessment,” complete with a list of future expressways to be prioritized once the original plan was complete. But in 2007, talk of the Expressway System went away. As in vanished. Like it never existed. And while LB 84, passed in 2011 to designate part of the state sales tax to roads funding, helped put some individual expressway projects back into play, it does not provide enough resources to finish the Expressway System in a timely manner.