Mayor Chris Beutler today said entryway corridor improvements will create a "welcoming first impression" to visitors coming to Lincoln. The Mayor and other local leaders participated in a dedication ceremony at the Lincoln Airport for the improvements along the route from the Airport to downtown.
The improvements include illuminated district markers, banners and public art as well as nearly 800 trees, 50,000 perennials and native grasses. The City also invested about $4.2 million in pavement repair. The four-mile entryway corridor extends from the Airport along West Adams to Cornhusker Highway to I-180 and from Cornhusker Highway east of I-180 to near N. 14th Street. Another segment runs along I-180 from Cornhusker Highway to the downtown entrance at 9th Street.
"This new entryway is part of our larger overall strategy to enhance Lincoln's image to visitors and employers, to increase the area's economic development potential and to improve the area's infrastructure," said Mayor Beutler. "This project is yet another example of a public-private partnership, with more than $1.6 million donated by visionary supporters in the private sector who recognize the need to improve our first impression."
The total project cost is about $4.2 million, which includes about $3 million in streetscape enhancements funded through a public-private partnership, and about $1.2 million for an endowment to maintain the improvements. The streetscape improvements include about $2.6 million in funding from the City, Airport Authority and Lancaster County. The remainder of the streetscape funding and all of the endowment came from 18 private sector donors.
TMCO, Inc. of Lincoln fabricated and donated the 16 district markers along West Adams and Cornhusker Highway. The steel markers are topped with a light fixture so the laser cut images on the markers are illuminated at night. Banner along the corridor celebrate Abraham Lincoln and were inspired by the images on the U.S. Postal Service stamp collection.
The Mayor thanked the design and construction team, which included the Parks and Recreation Department; the Engineering Services Division of Public Works and Utilities; The Schemmer Associates; Constructors Inc.; Commonwealth Electric; Nebraska Nursery and Color Gardens; Lanoha Nurseries; and TMCO, Inc.
Beutler also expressed appreciation to the Lincoln Parks Foundation for leading the private campaign and to the fund-raising Advisory Team -- Brad Korell, Nick Cusick, Connie and Todd Duncan, Phil Mullin and Walt and Carol Zink.
Other partners and donors include the Abel Foundation; Ameritas; Cabela's; CHI Health St. Elizabeth; Chief Industries, Inc.; Cornhusker Bank; Duncan Aviation; the Lincoln Community Foundation on behalf of the Kenneth J. Good Endowed Fund; Lincoln Industries; National Research Corporation; Nelnet, Inc.; Holly and Tonn Ostergard; PCE, Inc.; Russ and Jennifer Peterson; Tom C. and Lisa M. Smith; Speedway Properties; and 2 for Trees Donors.