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highway update photo

U.S. Highway 34/75 between Plattsmouth and Murray, including this stretch shown here just south of Plattsmouth, is to be widened to four lanes in the near future.

PLATTSMOUTH – The completion of that widening project on U.S. Highway 34/75 north of Plattsmouth should eventually drive economic development towards here, a city official said.

“It will bring more people this way,” said Plattsmouth Mayor Paul Lambert. “It will open up more retail, more jobs in this area.”

The Plattsmouth to Bellevue project is in its scheduled fourth year of construction and is ahead of schedule, according to a Nebraska Department of Transportation official.

“We were able to separate traffic prior to January 1, 2019, however, temperatures were not conducive to restriping the highway to four-lane requirements and therefore we are unable to open all four lanes at this point in time,” said Tim Weander, District 2 engineer. “NDOT contractors are aware of our need to open this highway segment to four lanes and will continue to remove the existing striping and restripe as the weather conditions and workforce allow.”

Lambert added, “Despite this cold snap, they are still ahead of schedule. I believe it will be done on time or ahead of time.”

When this widening project is done, commuting back and forth from the Omaha/Bellevue area should be quicker and safer for local motorists, Lambert said.

“It gets us closer to the metro area,” he said. “People can live here and commute to Omaha or Bellevue.”

After that work is done, the focus will turn to widening that highway from Plattsmouth to Murray, according to Weander.

That is tentatively scheduled to go to bid letting in August 2020, he said. This would allow construction to begin in the winter of 2020-21, pending weather conditions, with completion most likely in late fall 2022, Weander said.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently approved a $20 million grant to help fund that project that will widen that nearly seven-mile stretch from two to four lanes, plus other improvements.

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