In September 2002, an Environmental Impact Statement was approved by the Federal Highway Administration for the proposed South and East Beltways. The East Beltway is shown in the 2040 Lincoln City/Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan for corridor protection. The East Beltway will be an important part of Lincoln's future transportation network. It will constitute the east leg of a circumferential freeway system around Lincoln that will be made up of Interstate 80 to the north, the Homestead Expressway (Hwy 77) to the west, and the South Beltway to the south. The South Beltway is currently being designed through the Nebraska Department of Transportation. The project schedule for the South Beltway can be viewed on the Nebraska Department of Transportation web site.
The proposed East Beltway is being administered jointly by the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County. At this time, the funds to construct the East Beltway are not available, and a schedule for construction has not been set. However, it is in the public's best interest to preserve the beltway corridor for future construction. On January 23, 2007, the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County entered into an agreement with the Nebraska Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration to prepare a preliminary design and to file corridor protection plans for the proposed East Beltway. HWS Consulting Group (now Alfred Benesch & Co.) was hired to perform this work.
The Nebraska corridor protection statute, Nebraska Revised Statutes, Section 39-1311, provides an important tool for responsible planning. It allows the identification and protection of future transportation corridors prior to costly and conflicting development of land. This protection provides benefits to the environment, property and business owners and the traveling public. The plans also take into consideration the protection of environmentally sensitive areas. Residents and business owners can make informed decisions about their property and plan for future infrastructure that will meet their needs. For the traveling public, corridor protection provides the opportunity to have transportation alternatives delivered more cost effectively.
The East Beltway project consists of a 4-lane roadway designed to freeway standards, similar an Interstate. The general alignment for the East Beltway runs from I-80 east of the Highway 6 interchange to Nebraska Highway 2 approximately along the 127th Street alignment. The project included three primary goals:
- File preliminary corridor protection plans based on the original Environmental Impact Statement alignment.
- Develop preliminary design plans including preliminary geometric design, interchange configurations, profiles, and limits of construction.
- File final corridor protection based on the preliminary limits of construction.
Corridor protection has been filed and the City and County continue to monitor development activity along the proposed route of the East Beltway.
An open house was held Thursday, May 15, 2008. Representatives from the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County and HWS Consulting Group (now Alfred Benesch & Co.) were available to discuss the project and answer questions.
Open House Handout(PDF, 382KB)