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.
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 on or over the roadway, 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.
|1960||70 mph (115 km/h)|
|1964||75 mph (120 km/h) for cars and 65 mph (105 km/h) for trucks|
|1974||55 mph (90 km/h) national speed limit, effective March 3, 1974|
|1987||65 mph (105 km/h)|
|1995||75 mph (120 km/h)|
|Kimball||0.00||0.00||I-80 west – Cheyenne||Continuation into Wyoming|
|0.48||0.77||1||L-53B (I-80 Bus. west) to US-30 – Pine Bluffs|
|8.46||13.62||8||L-53C – Bushnell|
|20.70||33.31||20||N-71 – Scottsbluff, Kimball|
|22.69||36.52||22||L-53E – Kimball|
|29.76||47.89||29||L-53A – Dix|
|Cheyenne||38.96||62.70||38||L-17B – Potter|
|51.40||82.72||Sidney Rest Area (eastbound)||Location of the Golden Link|
|55.37||89.11||55||I-80 Bus. east / N-19 – Sidney|
|Sidney||59.92||96.43||59||I-80 Bus. west / L-17J to US-385 – Sidney, Bridgeport|
|69.63||112.06||69||L-17E – Sunol|
|73.21||117.82||73||L-17F – East Lodgepole|
|76.61||123.29||76||L-17F – Lodgepole|
|Deuel||85.22||137.15||85||L-25A – Chappell|
|95.02||152.92||95||N-27 – Julesburg, Oshkosh|
|101.19||162.85||101||US-138 – Big Springs, Julesburg|
|102.59||165.10||102||I-76 south – Denver|
|107.36||172.78||107||L-25B – Big Springs|
|Keith||117.25||188.70||117||L-51A – Brule|
|Ogallala||126.69||203.89||126||US-26 / N-61 – Ogallala, Grant|
|133.96||215.59||133||L-51B – Roscoe|
|145.65||234.40||145||L-51C – Paxton|
|Lincoln||158.01||254.29||158||N-25 – Sutherland, Wallace|
|164.52||264.77||164||L-56C – Hershey|
|North Platte||177.16||285.11||177||US-83 – North Platte, McCook|
|179.22||288.43||179||L-56G to US-30 – North Platte|
|190.45||306.50||190||S-56A – Maxwell|
|198.98||320.23||199||L-56D – Brady|
|Dawson||Gothenburg||211.79||340.84||211||N-47 – Gothenburg|
|Cozad||222.46||358.01||222||N-21 – Cozad|
|231.10||371.92||231||L-24A – Darr|
|237.20||381.74||237||US-283 – Arapahoe, Lexington, Elwood|
|248.53||399.97||248||L-24B – Overton|
|Buffalo||257.00||413.60||257||US-183 – Holdrege, Elm Creek|
|263.67||424.34||263||L-10B – Odessa|
|Kearney||272.60||438.71||272||N-44 – Kearney, Archway Monument|
|279.90||450.46||279||N-10 – Minden|
|285.63||459.68||285||L-10C – Gibbon|
|291.36||468.90||291||L-10D – Shelton, Kenesaw|
|Hall||300.10||482.96||300||N-11 north / S-40D south – Wood River|
|305.66||491.91||305||L-40C – Alda|
|Grand Island||312.07||502.23||312||US-34 / US-281 – Hastings, Grand Island|
|314.11||505.51||314||Locust Street – Grand Island|
|Hamilton||318.16||512.03||318||N-2 – Phillips, Grand Island|
|324.16||521.68||324||S-41B – Giltner|
|332.17||534.58||332||N-14 – Aurora|
|338.14||544.18||338||L-41D – Hampton|
|York||342.13||550.60||342||S-93A – Henderson|
|348.11||560.23||348||L-93E – Bradshaw|
|York||353.10||568.26||353||US-81 – Geneva, York|
|360.13||579.57||360||L-93B – Waco|
|Seward||366.15||589.26||366||L-80F – Utica|
|369.14||594.07||369||L-80E – Beaver Crossing|
|373.11||600.46||373||L-80G – Goehner|
|379.11||610.12||379||N-15 – Seward, Fairbury|
|382.11||614.95||382||L-80H – Milford|
|388.13||624.63||388||N-103 – Crete|
|Lancaster||Lincoln||395.61||636.67||395||L-55K to US-6 / Northwest 48th Street|
|396.36||637.88||396||US-6 (West O Street)||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; westbound exit is via exit 397|
|397.27||639.34||397||US-77 south – Beatrice||West end of US-77 overlap|
|399.03||642.18||399||NW 12th St., Cornhusker Hwy., Adams St. (Lincoln Municipal Airport)|
|401.04||645.41||401||I-180 / US-34 (9th Street) – Downtown Lincoln||Signed as exits 401A (south/east) and 401B (west)|
|403.49||649.35||403||27th Street – State Fair Park|
|405.76||653.01||405||US-77 north (North 56th Street) / L-55X south – Fremont, Wahoo||East end of US-77 overlap|
|409.76||659.44||409||US-6 – East Lincoln, Waverly|
|Cass||420.94||677.44||420||N-63 – Ashland, Greenwood|
|426.07||685.69||426||N-66 – Mahoney State Park, Ashland, South Bend||Strategic Air and Space Museum|
|Sarpy||432.95||696.77||432||N-31 to US-6 – Gretna, Louisville|
|439.20||706.82||439||N-370 – Bellevue, Papillion, Gretna||Werner Park (stadium), Offutt Air Force Base|
|440.65||709.16||440||N-50 – Springfield, Millard, Louisville|
|442.90||712.78||442||Giles Road, Harrison Street|
|Douglas||Omaha||444||Q Street||Westbound exit only|
|445||US-275 / N-92 (L Street)|
|445||I Street||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|452.86||728.81||452||I-480 north / US-75 (Kennedy Freeway) – Downtown Omaha||Eppley Airfield (north), Bellevue (south)|
|453.05||729.11||453||24th Street||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|454.15||730.88||454||13th Street – Lauritzen Gardens, Henry Doorly Zoo|
|455.32||732.77||I-80 east – Des Moines||Continuation into Iowa|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
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.
- I-180 is a spur into downtown Lincoln, co-signed with US-34 for its entire length.
- I-480 is a 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. It is cosigned with US-75 for approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km) and with US-6} for less than one mile (1.6 km) as it crosses the Missouri River into Iowa.
- I-680 is a loop around the northwest of Omaha. It serves as the outer of the two Omaha loops. The section from I-80 in Omaha to I-29 in Crescent was originally designated as I-280, but because it extended into Iowa, and because it conflicted with Interstate 280 in the Quad Cities area of Iowa, the route was renumbered as I-680.
- Koster, p. 64.
- Staff (October 31, 2002). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. OCLC 47914009.
- Staff. "Interstate Construction in Nebraska". Nebraska Department of Roads. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- Geelhart, Chris (July 11, 2006). "Highways 61-100". Nebraska Highways Page. Self-published. Retrieved October 14, 2007.[unreliable source]
- Winckler, Suzanne (July 22, 1990). "I-80's Exits To History In Nebraska". The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- Koster, p. 66.
- Nebraska Interstate 80 Lincoln–Omaha (PDF). Nebraska Department of Roads. August 11, 1961. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- Koster, p. 87.
- Whidden, Jesse (August 17, 2003). "Nebraska Interstate 80". Nebraska Roads. Self-published. Retrieved September 23, 2007.[unreliable source]
- Koster, p. 100.
- Staff. "Purple Heart Trail". Nebraska Department of Roads. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- Koster, p. 67.
- Koster, p. 73.
- Koster, p. 75.
- Staff. Today's I-80 in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Roads. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
- Koster, p. 94.
- Materials & Research Division (2007). Nebraska Highway Reference Log Book (PDF). Nebraska Department of Roads.
- "The Golden Link historical marker/historic landmark in Sidney, Cheyenne, NE, US". Annwn Web Creations LLC. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- Frazier, Ian (1989). Great Plains. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. ISBN 9780374217235.
- Koster, George E. (1997). A Story of Highway Development in Nebraska (PDF) (Revised ed.). Lincoln: Nebraska Department of Roads. p. 64. OCLC 38025727. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- Mattes, Merrill J. (1969). The Great Platte River Road. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. OCLC 92978.
- Nebraska State Historical Society (1989). Historic Places: The National Register for Nebraska. Lincoln: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. OCLC 19216708.
- 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.