LINCOLN, NE – Six-months ahead of schedule, the Lincoln South Beltway is now open to traffic. To celebrate the $352-million project that provides a new east-west connection between US Highway 77 and Nebraska Highway 2, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) hosted an event on December 14. Project team members gathered with government officials to mark the occasion.
“Benesch has been part of this project for decades, so it was an incredible experience to join colleagues and celebrate the opening,” said Benesch Project Manager Tony Dirks. “The Beltway was designed to improve safety, ease congestion and help transform the region. I can’t wait to see the full impact it has on the area.”
In the mid-1990s, Benesch first began working on the design of the Lincoln South Beltway. The project eventually stalled until construction funding was identified through the Build Nebraska Act of 2011 which allowed design and environmental efforts to continue. The preliminary design work resumed in 2013. Once the environmental assessment was approved in the spring of 2018, the final design efforts were expedited to provide for construction beginning in the spring of 2020.
Dirks managed the consultant design team during the Beltway’s final design phase, which included more than 100 Benesch team members from nine different offices. “The collaboration on this project was a tremendous part of its success. With a large multidisciplinary team involved and proactive communication plan, the Benesch team met NDOT’s challenge to deliver the final design on an accelerated schedule,” said Dirks. “And now with a great contractor in Hawkins Construction and some good weather, the Beltway has been opened even further ahead of schedule.”
Over the years, many past and present Benesch leaders have been instrumental in the success of this project. Several of them were able to join the celebration and see years of hard work come to fruition.