Following an EIS to study the possibility of constructing a beltway around the south side of Lincoln, Nebraska, Benesch was selected by the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County and the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, to complete the Environmental Assessment, preliminary and final design. The beltway includes a new, 11-mile east-west connection from U.S. Highway 77 to 134th Street.
The purpose of the project is to complete the circumferential transportation network around Lincoln which currently exists only on the north and west sides. The project will move traffic around Lincoln’s congested urban area and improve traffic flow on the existing urban street system. This will greatly improve the regional and interstate connectivity through Nebraska and reduce conflicts between local and through traffic, including heavy truck traffic, in Lincoln.
At $350 million, this project is the largest active transportation project in Nebraska. Benesch is currently the prime consultant for NDOT, developing final design plans and geotechnical services for the South Beltway segment. The project includes 2 system interchanges, 3 service interchanges, 43 miles of roadway alignments, 23 bridges and 11 roundabouts.
Benesch was the lead consultant for the final design phase of this major infrastructure project and was responsible for approximately 75% of the design effort and the entirety of the environmental permitting. The final design phase started with a planned duration of around 18 months. During the process, not only were several major design changes made (including the geometry of the three service interchanges), but the schedule was also compressed by three months. Benesch allocated additional resources to keep the project on schedule and has received numerous commendations from NDOT regarding the quality of work and the ability to deliver.
Benesch also provided support during the construction phase. The Beltway opened to traffic six months ahead of schedule.