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Author Topic: Question About US 77 & NE\IA 2 Between I-80 & I-29  (Read 859 times)

Route66Fan

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Question About US 77 & NE\IA 2 Between I-80 & I-29
« on: July 05, 2022, 02:00:12 AM »

I've noticed that, over the years, Nebraska & Iowa have been upgrading this highway from 2 lanes to 4 lanes. I also see that there is a bypass being built around the South side of Lincoln, NE, that connects NE 2 with US 77. Are Nebraska & Iowa planning on upgrading this route to interstate standards, or are they keeping this route as an expressway? If it does become an interstate, I can see it becoming something like I-580. What do you all think? I was on parts of this route, back in 1998. At that time, some sections, like one near Syracuse, NE, were still 2 lanes.
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mrose

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Re: Question About US 77 & NE\IA 2 Between I-80 & I-29
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2022, 09:57:41 AM »

The first priority I think would be to remove the remaining at grades on 77 at Pioneers Blvd, Old Cheney Rd and Warlick Blvd (which is an old alignment of 77). I think there is also one at-grade left in Nebraska City and the I-29 interchange is a diamond.

I don't see NE 2 becoming a full freeway for the entire length for a very long time, if at all.... Nebraska is behind on a lot of expressway projects elsewhere in the state.

Should they complete the upgrades to 77 and build the east beltway, then perhaps the completed loop around Lincoln could get an x80, but that is probably a dicussion that belongs in fictional.

I haven't lived or even visited Lincoln in years but I never felt like NE 2 was interstate material.... but I never thought I'd ever see the beltway built.
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Fredddie

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Re: Question About US 77 & NE\IA 2 Between I-80 & I-29
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2022, 01:58:57 AM »

I haven't lived or even visited Lincoln in years but I never felt like NE 2 was interstate material.... but I never thought I'd ever see the beltway built.

On its face it doesn't seem like it, but it's a handy connector that avoids Omaha.  I can see the appeal for truckers.
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zzcarp

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Re: Question About US 77 & NE\IA 2 Between I-80 & I-29
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2022, 10:35:41 AM »

Per the NDOT site, it's just shown as part of their expressway program and entirely completed but for the beltway under construction. I'm guessing there are many higher priorities out there for NDOT to tackle.

I've used NE 2/IA 2 from I-80 to I-29 as part of my cross-country trips from Denver to Ohio, picking up US 36 at St Joseph to I-72 to I-74 to Indianapolis. I found it a good alternative to taking I-70 from Denver with far less traffic.

NE 2 is basically free-flowing as is past Lincoln, and, except for the 75mph speed limit for a freeway, I don't see much reason for additional upgrades as it's a highly functioning corridor in my view.
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skluth

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Re: Question About US 77 & NE\IA 2 Between I-80 & I-29
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2022, 06:42:35 PM »

I haven't lived or even visited Lincoln in years but I never felt like NE 2 was interstate material.... but I never thought I'd ever see the beltway built.

On its face it doesn't seem like it, but it's a handy connector that avoids Omaha.  I can see the appeal for truckers.

About 20 years ago I took NE 2 from I-29 to Lincoln on my way from St Louis to the Black Hills. It was a new expressway then, so it was wonderful to drive. I'm sure it's a popular route for truckers as it not only avoids Omaha, but it and I-29/435 make a great connector between I-80 and I-70 for trucks traveling cross-country wanting to avoid Chicago.
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rte66man

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Re: Question About US 77 & NE\IA 2 Between I-80 & I-29
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2022, 11:56:20 AM »

The first priority I think would be to remove the remaining at grades on 77 at Pioneers Blvd, Old Cheney Rd and Warlick Blvd (which is an old alignment of 77). I think there is also one at-grade left in Nebraska City...

There are a number of them near NE City:
  • Steinhart Park Road
  • Access to State Patrol complex
  • South 3rd Road
  • South 3rd St
  • Ivy Road
  • Valmont Drive
That doesn't include the large # of at-grades between NE City and Lincoln.


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Revive 755

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Re: Question About US 77 & NE\IA 2 Between I-80 & I-29
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2022, 10:56:16 PM »

I seem to recall a Highway 2 freeway upgrade between Lincoln and Nebraska City being proposed a few years ago as a 'Build Nebraska' project but not getting selected. I seem to also recall it getting some opposition.

The upgrades for US 77 between the South Beltway interchange and the current Highway 2/Van Dorn Street Interchange appears to be waiting for funding - see https://dot.nebraska.gov/projects/bna/first10/fy-2020-2023/lincoln-west-beltway/
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Re: Question About US 77 & NE\IA 2 Between I-80 & I-29
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2022, 07:03:54 PM »

There's also a proposed eastern beltway between I-80 and NE 2:
https://www.lincoln.ne.gov/City/Departments/LTU/LTU-Projects/Planned/East-Beltway
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