South Beltway construction

Truck traffic moves south and west on Nebraska 2 at the intersection of Ninth and Van Dorn streets. The planned South Beltway, an 11-mile, four-lane freeway south of Lincoln, will link U.S. 77 and Nebraska 2 and is expected to divert heavy truck traffic from city streets.

Legislation to accelerate construction of the long-awaited Lincoln South Beltway was advanced to the final stage of consideration Thursday after concerns about a creative financing process were addressed.

Sen. Matt Williams of Gothenburg had questioned whether the financing provisions of the bill (LB616) introduced by Sen. Mike Hilgers of Lincoln might run counter to the state constitution's prohibition on accumulation of state debt.

Hilgers pointed to an attorney general's opinion stating that the financing mechanism that provides for delayed payments by the state does not represent any unconstitutional debt obligation.

Williams said he is "very supportive" of the South Beltway project.

The new funding arrangement will allow completion of the $300 million project in three years rather than eight years and result in $30 million in reduced costs. 

The four-lane expressway south of the city will link U.S. 77 and Nebraska 2. 

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Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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