The Lincoln South Beltway is a 4-lane freeway under construction near the city of Lincoln, NE. It will eventually link US Highway 77 in the west and Nebraska Highway 2 in the east. The project is being built by Hawkins construction and is being substantially funded by the Nebraska Department of Transportation.
Construction began in March of 2020, and is scheduled to be open to traffic in April of 2023. In this video, you can see that traffic has been diverted onto the new Saltillo Road bridge over US-77. Additionally, US-77 traffic has been diverted onto the permanent southbound lanes. The 54th Street bridge has also been opened to traffic, and the bridge decks at 27th St and Nebraska Parkway have been poured!
I am not in any way officially involved with the project. I am only making these videos for fun and public education.
Music used in this video courtesy of the Youtube Audio Library.
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State transportation officials said construction at the U.S. 77 interchange with the new South Beltway has progressed to the point that the traffic signal at Saltillo Road can be removed.
Weather permitting, officials said the signal will go dark Aug. 15, at which point southbound U.S. 77 traffic will access Saltillo Road by following a designated crossover to the new permanent exit ramp.
Traffic bound for southbound U.S. 77 will follow the permanent ramp extending south from the new Saltillo Road roundabout at Shrine Way.
For now, U.S. 77 traffic through the new interchange will continue to flow in single lanes. But removal of the traffic signal and the temporary Saltillo Road intersection will allow construction to move forward on the permanent traffic lanes that will eventually connect U.S. 77 with the new expressway.
The 11-mile-long connection with Nebraska 2 southeast of Lincoln — long pitched as a way to keep big-rig traffic from clogging a main artery through the city — will open by May 1 of next year.
PhotosFiles: Highway 2 through Lincoln
Traffic on Highway 2 near 27th Street looking west toward the State Penitentiary in 1967.
This 1966 aerial photo looks north toward Highway 2, with 27th Street on the right.
A view from south of Highway 2 between 40th Street (left) and 48th Street looking north.
40th Street (center) south of Highway 2 looking north in 1966.
This 1966 aerial photo looking north shows Highway 2 bisecting 56th Street.
Highway 2 near 48th Street looking west in 1967.
Highway 2 looking west near Pine Lake Road in 1967. 70th Street is at the top of the hill.
Motorists driving into Lincoln on Highway 2 to go to work provide evidence of the bedroom community concept that many small towns are accepting and nurturing. (Undated photo)
This July 1979, photo shows major work being done at U.S. 77, 14th Street and Highway 2. This aerial photo looking northwest shows how an extension of 13th Street would intersect with Highway 2 in front of the State Department of Roads complex.
The Rock Island railroad bridge over Highway 2 near 27th Street was a bottleneck that prevented widening of the highway to four lanes. But in 1983, negotiations between the Nebraska Department of Roads and the Rock Island Railroad bankruptcy trustee led to 1985 removal of the bridge. This photo looks to the west.
The longtime obstacle to the widening of Highway 2 between 24th and 38th streets was removed in May of 1985. Contractors lifted the abandoned Rock Island railroad bridge from its concrete abutments just east of 27th Street. The removal was part of a $2.4 million project to widen the 1.2-mile stretch to four lanes. A similar railroad bridge that spanned 27th Street just south of the highway was removed the same year.
Pioneers Boulevard (upper left) merges into Highway 2 in February of 1985. This photo is looking east.