$542 million road project plan open for public comment - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

$542 million road project plan open for public comment

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The Nebraska Department of Roads is seeking public comments on a $542 million dollar highway project plan that will stretch through western Nebraska.
 
The Heartland Expressway project plan calls for building a four-lane highway from the Colorado-Nebraska line through Kimball, Scottsbluff, Gering, Alliance, Chadron and connecting with an existing four-lane at the Nebraska-South Dakota border.

Furthermore, the plan would look to pave four lanes from Scottsbluff-Gering to the Wyoming line near Torrington.

Experts say travel demand in the panhandle is down and expanding the highway will have several benefits including travel safety and economic growth.

"Increased traffic in the area for people to patronize local businesses," says Daniel Bennett, a Heartland Expressway Association representative.

Bennett spoke that the four-lane expressway would also provide access to the oil production areas of western North Dakota and Alberta, Canada and bring increased economic development opportunities to all of Western Nebraska.
 
The plan further explains that the 20 year-long project will have a 2:1 cost benefit ratio. For every $1 spent, a $2 benefit would be achieved.

The first phase of the project is expected to begin in 2017 near Angora and Alliance.

A public meeting will be held on May 29th at six p.m. at the Gering Civic Center.
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