I-80/I-76 System Interchange

Nebraska Department of Transportation | Big Springs, NE
interchange improvement concept showing cost of each section as part of a VE study

Following the Nebraska DOTs recommendation to replace pavement along I-80 near Big Springs, NE, the Department also determined a need for modernizing the I-80/I-76 system interchange to provide proper lane balance and give priority to I-80 movements, improve interchange geometry, reconstruct all pavement within the project limits and construct two new bridges. The Department then asked Benesch to assemble a VE team to review the as-given design for the interchange to determine the potential for cost savings.

In all, 111 ideas were generated during the VE study session. Of those, nine proposals and five design suggestions were developed. Two of the proposals validated the project’s as-given design as the preferred alternative. As part of the study, Benesch developed elemental costs that were then compared against traffic movements to determine the best possible alternatives. The study resulted in a potential for the DOT to save up to $6M in construction costs without impacting the project’s functionality. Some of the ideas generated by the team include:

  • Providing 28’ clear roadway at loop ramps
  • Modifying layout of I-76 fly bridge
  • Reducing design speed on Loop 1 Ramp
  • Increasing longitudinal grade on Loop 1 Ramp
  • Reducing axillary lane clear zone to minimum of 20’
  • Shortening acceleration/deceleration lanes
  • Reducing Ramp 2 from two lanes to one lane

Five of the VE team’s proposals were accepted for implementation by NDOT.