Interstate 80 in Nebraska
|Maintained by NDOR|
|Length:||455.32 mi (732.77 km)|
|Existed:||1957 – present|
|West end:||I-80 at Wyoming state line|
| N-71 in Kimball
I-76 near Big Springs
US-26 in Ogallala
US-83 in North Platte
US-281 in Grand Island
US-81 near York
US-77 in Lincoln
I-180 in Lincoln
I-680 in Omaha
I-480 / US-75 in Omaha
|East end:||I-80 at Iowa state line|
In the U.S. state of Nebraska, Interstate 80 runs west from Omaha to the Wyoming state border, ultimately terminating in San Francisco, California. When it completed construction of the stretch of Interstate 80 spanning the state on October 19, 1974, Nebraska was the first state in the nation to complete its mainline Interstate Highway System.
Nebraska has more than fifty exits along Interstate 80. According to the New York Times there are several notable tourist attractions along Nebraska's section of I-80. It is the only interstate highway to go from one end of the state to another, as Nebraska has no major north-south interstate route. Except for a three mile portion of Interstate 76 near the Colorado state line, I-80 is the only primary (two-digit) Interstate Highway in Nebraska.
Built along the pathway of the Great Platte River Road, I-80 in Nebraska follows the same route as many historic trails, including the Oregon Trail, the California Trail and the Mormon Trail. Starting in 1957 after federal funding was allotted, Nebraskans began planning their interstate construction. Led by the Nebraska State Highway Commission, there were hearings across the state to decide where the route was going to be. Aside from the federally-mandated "control points" in Omaha and Scottsbluff, the route could vary across the state. Dozens of meetings were held in Grand Island, Kearney and North Platte, among other locations. The commission addressed issues of whether the highway would be north or south of the Platte River or whether it would follow U.S. 30. The South Platte Chamber of Commerce and various cities were very active in these sessions, and debate over where the Interstate would be constructed continued into the 1960s.
After the first contract for building the interstate was awarded in 1957, a 6.5-mile (10.5 km) section near Gretna was the first section to be completed that year. The first long segment to be opened was a fifty mile section between Dodge Street in Omaha and the West Lincoln interchange in Lincoln in 1961. During a "Golden Link" ceremony, the last section of I-80 in Nebraska was completed when a brass connector was inserted in the roadway near Sidney on April 1, 1974. This was designed to keep in tradition with the golden spike on the railroads in 1869.
The total length of the Nebraska section is 455.27 miles (732.69 km) long, and was completed at a cost of $435 million.
Designated sections 
The entirety of the Interstate Highway System was named the "Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways" in 1990, and the first signage in Nebraska was posted in 1993. Several sections of I-80 in Nebraska have special designations. The I-80 intersection with US-34 has been designated a "Purple Heart Memorial Highway", and South 108th Street bridge over I-80 in Omaha has been designated the "Purple Heart Bridge", both in honor of all recipients of the Purple Heart. A section of I-80 in Nebraska is also designated as a Blue Star Memorial Highway.
The beginning of the I-80 construction in Nebraska in 1957 led the Nebraska Legislature to split the Department of Roads and Irrigation in order to create three separate agencies in the state, including the Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Water Resources and the Department of Roads, which was the first Nebraska agency solely responsible for highway planning, construction, and maintenance in Nebraska history.
Interstate construction led the state to focus on other highways in Nebraska, as well. Surfaced shoulders, new safety sections beyond shoulders and other developments across the state were attributed to the influence of the Interstate. The 1965 state Legislature also authorized a study of the needs of every public road in Nebraska, including state highways, county roads, and city streets.
In Nebraska, I-80 has 82 interchanges, 442 bridges are on or over the roadway and 25 rest areas and one scenic overlook, each spaced 35–50 miles apart for convenience. The I-80 rights-of-way in Nebraska feature 28 types of grasses and forbs, 31 types of shrubs, 12 varieties of coniferous trees, and 39 types of deciduous trees are planted on the median of I-80 in Nebraska. There are also 570 informational and directional signs along the way.
|Speed limits on I-80 in Nebraska|
|1960||70 mph (110 km/h) on the rural interstate.|
|1964||75 mph (121 km/h) for cars and 65 mph (105 km/h) for trucks in rural areas.|
|1974||55 mph (89 km/h) national speed limit, effective March 3, 1974.|
|1987||65 mph (105 km/h) on the rural interstate.|
|1995||75 mph (121 km/h) on the rural interstate.|
Exit list 
|Kimball||0.48||1||L-53B (I-80 Bus. west) to US-30 - Pine Bluffs|
|8.46||8||L-53C – Bushnell|
|20.70||20||N-71 – Scottsbluff, Kimball|
|29.76||29||L-53A – Dix|
|Cheyenne||38.96||38||L-17B – Potter|
|55.37||55||I-80 Bus. east / N-19 – Sidney|
|Sidney||59.92||59||I-80 Bus. west / L-17J to US-385 – Sidney, Bridgeport|
|69.63||69||L-17E – Sunol|
|76.61||76||L-17F – Lodgepole|
|Deuel||85.22||85||L-25A – Chappell|
|95.02||95||N-27 - Julesburg, Oshkosh|
|101.19||101||US-138 – Big Springs, Julesburg|
|102.59||102||I-76 west – Denver|
|107.36||107||L-25B – Big Springs|
|Keith||117.25||117||L-51A – Brule|
|Ogallala||126.69||126||US-26 / N-61 – Ogallala, Grant|
|133.96||133||L-51B – Roscoe|
|145.65||145||L-51C – Paxton|
|Lincoln||158.01||158||N-25 – Sutherland, Wallace|
|164.52||164||L-56C – Hershey|
|North Platte||177.16||177||US-83 – North Platte, McCook|
|179.22||179||L-56G to US-30 – North Platte|
|190.45||190||S-56A – Maxwell|
|198.98||199||L-56D – Brady|
|Dawson||Gothenburg||211.79||211||N-47 – Gothenburg|
|Cozad||222.46||222||N-21 – Cozad|
|231.10||231||L-24A – Darr|
|237.20||237||US-283 – Arapahoe, Lexington, Elwood|
|248.53||248||L-24B – Overton|
|Buffalo||257.00||257||US-183 – Holdrege, Elm Creek|
|263.67||263||L-10B – Odessa|
|Kearney||272.60||272||N-44 – Kearney, Archway Monument|
|279.90||279||N-10 – Minden|
|285.63||285||L-10C – Gibbon|
|291.36||291||L-10D – Shelton, Kenesaw|
|Hall||300.10||300||N-11 (S-40D) – Wood River|
|305.66||305||L-40C – Alda|
|Grand Island||312.07||312||US-34 / US-281 – Hastings, Grand Island|
|314.11||314||Locust Street – Grand Island|
|Hamilton||318.16||318||N-2 – Phillips, Grand Island|
|324.16||324||S-41B – Giltner|
|332.17||332||N-14 – Aurora|
|338.14||338||L-41D – Hampton|
|York||342.13||342||S-93A – Henderson|
|348.11||348||L-93E – Bradshaw|
|York||353.10||353||US-81 – Geneva, York|
|360.13||360||L-93B – Waco|
|Seward||366.15||366||L-80F – Utica|
|369.14||369||L-80E – Beaver Crossing|
|373.11||373||L-80G – Goehner|
|379.11||379||N-15 – Seward, Fairbury|
|388.13||388||N-103 – Crete|
|Lancaster||Lincoln||395.61||395||To US-6 / Northwest 48th Street (L-55K)|
|396.36||396||US-6 (West O Street)||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Westbound exit is via exit 397
|397.27||397||US-77 south – Beatrice||West end of US 77 overlap|
|399.03||399||Lincoln Municipal Airport|
|401.04||401||I-180 / US-34 (9th Street) – Downtown Lincoln||Signed as exits 401A (south/east) and 401B (west)|
|403.49||403||27th Street – State Fair Park|
|405.76||405||US-77 north (North 56th Street, L-55X) – Fremont, Wahoo||East end of US 77 overlap|
|409.76||409||US-6 – East Lincoln, Waverly|
|Cass||420.94||420||N-63 – Ashland, Greenwood|
|426.07||426||N-66 – Mahoney State Park, Ashland, South Bend||Strategic Air and Space Museum|
|Sarpy||432.95||432||N-31 to US-6 – Gretna, Louisville|
|439.20||439||N-370 – Bellevue, Papillion, Gretna||Werner Park (stadium), Offutt Air Force Base|
|440.65||440||N-50 – Springfield, Millard, Louisville|
|442.90||442||Giles Road, Harrison Street|
|Douglas||Omaha||444||Q Street||Westbound exit only|
|445.05||445||US-275 / N-92 (L Street)|
|445||I Street||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|452.86||452||I-480 north / US-75 (Kennedy Freeway) – Downtown Omaha||Eppley Airfield (north), Bellevue (south)|
|453.05||453||24th Street||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|454.15||454||13th Street - Lauritzen Gardens / Henry Doorly Zoo|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
Auxiliary routes 
Interstate 80 has three auxiliary routes in Nebraska. One is a loop around the city of Omaha, one is a loop through the city of Omaha, and the other is a spur into Lincoln.
- Interstate 480 is a 4.9-mile (7.9 km) loop route in Omaha extending from Interstate 29 in Council Bluffs west towards I-80. It serves as the inner of two loops in Omaha. Signed as US 6 for a mile across the Missouri River, when the Interstate meets with the North Freeway and turns south it becomes US 75.
- Interstate 680 is a 42.86-mile (68.98 km) loop around the city of Omaha. It serves as the outer of the two Omaha loops.
- Interstate 180 is a 3.47-mile (5.58 km) spur into the city of Lincoln.
See also 
- Mattes, M.J. (1969) The Great Platte River Road. University of Nebraska Press.
- Frazier, I. (1989) Great Plains. Knopf.
- Nebraska State Historical Society. Historic Places: The National Register for Nebraska. Published by Nebraskaland Magazine.
- Koster, G. (1997) A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Roads. p 64. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- Federal Highway Administration Route Log and Finder List, Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002
- "Interstate construction in Nebraska." Nebraska Department of Roads. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- "Highways 61-100", Nebraska Highways Page. Retrieved 10/14/07.
- Winckler, S. (1990) "I-80's Exits To History In Nebraska," New York Times. July 22, 1990. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- Koster, G. (1997) A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Roads. p 66. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- (1961) Nebraska Interstate 80 Lincoln - Omaha. Nebraska Department of Roads. Retrieved 9/23/07
- Koster, G. (1997) A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Roads. p 87. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- "Nebraska Interstate 80" Nebraska Roads. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- Koster, G. (1997) A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Roads. p 100. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- "Purple Heart Trail," Nebraska Department of Roads. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- Koster, G. (1997) A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Roads. p 67. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- Koster, G. (1997) A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Roads. p 73. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- Koster, G. (1997) A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Roads. p 75. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- "Fact Sheet: The Interstate in Nebraska." Nebraska Department of Roads. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- Koster, G. (1997) A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Roads. p 94. Retrieved 9/23/07.
- Nebraska Department of Roads, Nebraska Highway Reference Log Book, 2007
- Nebraska Department of Roads
- 1963 photos of construction in Omaha.
- I-80 Nebraska. An official promotional website for nine counties in central and western Nebraska.