Final design for the 11-mile Lincoln South Beltway is finished, and the state will begin purchasing the necessary rights of way and relocating utilities early next year, according to the Nebraska Department of Transportation.
The South Beltway is a planned four-lane expressway south of Lincoln that will link U.S. 77 and Nebraska 2 and is expected to divert truck traffic from Nebraska 2 through the city.
The state will begin contacting impacted property owners early next year.
The state expects construction to begin in 2020, and the project is expected to take five to seven years. However, the Transportation Department says it's still exploring ways to accelerate the project and allow the freeway to be open for public use as soon as possible.
The final design, released Friday, includes minor changes resulting from public input.
The changes include the addition of roundabouts as part of on- and off-ramps at planned interchanges at 27th, 68th and 82nd streets. The roundabouts will require less land at the interchanges.
The final design adds a connection between 120th Street and existing Nebraska 2 to the north of the South Beltway. Previous plans to create an overpass where 134th Street intersects with Nebraska 2 were scrapped.
More information on the project can be found at dot.nebraska.gov/lincoln-south-beltway.