The Nebraska Department of Roads will spend more than $3.1 million on the state highway system in Lincoln by the end of 2014, with another possible $2.6 million coming in 2015, Mayor Chris Beutler said Thursday.

The $5.7 million will be used to improve more than 32 miles of highways in the city. By comparison, the city only has been able to fund rehabilitation of 39 of Lincoln’s 1,200 total street miles in the past three years.

"This large investment by the state will help to stretch existing local funds used in pavement preservation and repair citywide,” Beutler said.

The money mostly comes from more than $21 million in savings from other state Roads Department projects. Randy Peters, state Roads Department director, said that’s a compliment to Nebraska contractors for competitive bidding.

“We wanted to put this money back to work as soon as possible,” he said.

The city used its pavement management system to decide which state highways in town needed the most work. Many stretches of O Street and Cornhusker Highway will be fixed next year.

Many are quick-starting projects that can be done easily to make rough pavement smooth again. The allocated dollars could only be used for maintenance and not expansions or other projects. Most projects will take a few weeks to a few months, but traffic will be able to move through them, said Thomas Schafer, city manager for road construction.

Miki Esposito, director of the City Public Works and Utilities Department, said spending $1 in preventative maintenance now can save between $8 and $15 in more costly repair work later.

Last month, the state announced Omaha would receive $12.4 million for rehabilitation work on its state highways. Omaha has 574 state highway lane miles compared to 211 in Lincoln.

Republican Gov. Dave Heineman attended a news conference last month with Omaha’s new Republican mayor, Jean Stothert, to make the announcement. 

Democratic Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler had his own news conference Thursday. Heineman’s office said an offer had been extended for Lincoln to be included in the previous announcement.

Project List

Work done during 2013:

* Cornhusker Highway/U.S. 6 from 52nd to 84th (spring and summer)

* Asphalt portions of Sun Valley Boulevard/U.S. 6 from West O to 10th (August)

Projects planned for the 2014 and 2015:

* North 56th/state highway L55-X from Cornhusker Highway to north city limits

* Concrete portions of O Street/U.S. 34, including 25th to 29th, 32nd to 34th, 43rd to 45th and 83rd to 87th

* Concrete portions of Sun Valley Boulevard/U.S. 6 from 11th to Cornhusker Highway
* Sealing concrete on O from 52nd to Wedgewood
* Asphalt overlay on Cornhusker Highway/U.S. 6 from 11th to 20th and 31st to 48th
* Chip sealing on Nebraska 2 from 56th to 84th
* Mill and asphalt overlay on Cornhusker Highway/U.S. 6 from 48th to 52nd and on 10th Street/U.S. 34 from O to R
* Concrete patching and crosswalk replacements on O Street/U.S. 34 from Ninth to Centennial Mall
* Concrete repairs on West O from the west city limits to Sun Valley Boulevard
* Diamond grinding of various state highway routes citywide

Future projects under consideration:

*U.S. 34 from east of 84th to east city limits — resurfacing, summer 2014 (part of $8.6 million project on Nebraska 63)

* Warlick Boulevard from U.S. 77 to Nebraska 2 — resurfacing, 2015 and 2016 ($2 million project includes $1.6 million from state and $400,000 in city funds)

* U.S. 6 bridges over Burlington Northern Santa Fe near 70th

* Northwest 48th from O to Vine — reconstructed as part of the Northwest 48th Interchange Project, 2015 (part of $33.6 million interstate widening project)

* Adams Street bridge over I-180 — reconstruction, 2017 ($2.2 million project includes $1.8 million from NDOR and $400,000 in city funds)

* 500 curb ramps on state highways — add new or upgrade existing to ADA standards, 2014 and 2015 ($371,000 includes $297,000 from state and $74,000 in city funds)

* I-80 and 27th Street interchange — ramp reconstruction, 2016 ($1.1 million)

* Salt Creek bridge repair, 2015 and 2016 ($1.4 million)

* West O and Southwest 40th streets safety project

Reach Jordan Pascale at 402-473-7120, or follow him on Twitter: @LJSPascale.