Great Platte River Road Archway Monument
The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument is a museum of and monument to Nebraska's and the Platte River valley's role in westward expansion. The Archway Monument is directly over Interstate 80 three miles (5 km) east of Kearney, Nebraska.
A monument and tourist attraction highlighting the Platte River valley was a goal of former Governor Frank B. Morrison. In 2000, the Archway Monument opened to the public; however, overly optimistic visitor projections forced the monument to cut expenses and refinance its bond payments.
While a shift in focus to educational and group tours briefly presented the monument with a more stable financial footing, the Arch was nevertheless forced to file for bankruptcy protection on March 7, 2013. Wells Fargo Bank of Minneapolis is the trustee for the bondholders.
Coincidentally, the bankruptcy comes as the museum is close to easing one of its major concerns – access. A new I-80 interchange directly east of the museum is scheduled to be completed this year (2013) at a cost of about $20 million.
Until that interchange opens, the closest I-80 exit to the archway is two miles west of the museum. Eastbound travelers who miss that turnoff, though, must go 12 miles out of their way to get back to Kearney and the archway.
- The lobby escalator is the 2nd (per monuments web site) longest in the state of Nebraska.
- 360 ft (110 m). of fiber optics is utilized in the entry movie.
- 24 life-size cast figures appear in the show.
- Faces on the cast figures were cast from real people.
- Total of 89,000 blades of grass appear throughout the show.
- An authentic 1914 Ford Model T is featured in the Lincoln Highway scene.
- An authentic 1927 Oldsmobile is showcased in the Lincoln Highway scene.
- An authentic 1961 Cadillac convertible is showcased in the drive-in theater scene.
- The Archway Monument is featured in the movie About Schmidt.
- This wagon shows the size and contents of the typical Conestoga Wagon on the Oregon Trail.
- "Great Platte River Road Memorial Archway". Kearney Hub. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument
- The Archway Monument on VisitNebraska.org
- Kearney Arch files for bankruptcy protection
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