A new study says the four-lane expansion of Highway 275, in northeast Nebraska, would add more than a-billion dollars to the state over 15-years.
The author of the study, Creighton University economics professor Dr. Ernie Goss, conducted the study for the Norfolk-based group “4 Lanes 4 Nebraska.”
Goss also concluded the expansion would create more than 1,000 jobs during construction, and reduce the number of traffic accidents on Highway 275.
4 Lanes 4 Nebraska is a public-private partnership, which Governor Pete Ricketts has been keen on to use more of throughout the state to fund various projects. Dr. Goss notes the funding from LB84, previously passed by the legislature in 2011, would not provide adequate funds to make 275 four lanes in a timely manner.
“Right now with LB84, you have many projects across the state and the funds there allowed by LB84, are probably insufficient to fund many projects like what we’re talking about here,” Goss says.
With low interest rates, Goss says their report recommends that Nebraska issue bonds now to pay for future expansion of Highway 275, which could begin in 2016.
“We’re talking about building today for benefits today and forward. That would be beginning in 2016 and going forward,” Goss notes. “In other words, building that, the expansion of 275, that construction alone creates economic activity.”
“4 Lanes 4 Nebraska” is a public-private partnership formed in December 2014, looking to expand Highway 275 to four lanes from east of Norfolk to just west of Fremont.