U.S. Route 20 in Nebraska

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This article is about the section of U.S. Route 20 in Nebraska. For the entire length of the highway, see U.S. Route 20.

U.S. Highway 20 marker

U.S. Highway 20
Route information
Maintained by NDOR
Length: 431.57 mi[1] (694.54 km)
Existed: 1926 – present
Major junctions
West end: US 20 west of Harrison
  US 385 near Chadron
US 83 near Valentine
US 183 at Bassett
US 281 at O'Neill
US 275 at O'Neill
US 81 near Randolph
US 75 / US 77 near South Sioux City
East end: I-129 / US 20 / US 75 at South Sioux City
Highway system
N-19 N-21

U.S. Highway 20 in Nebraska is a major east–west artery running across northern Nebraska. It enters the state in sparsely populated northwest Nebraska as a rural two lane highway. It exits concurrently with Interstate 129 and U.S. Highway 75 by a Missouri River crossing at South Sioux City.

Route description[edit]

U.S. 20 enters Nebraska from Wyoming near the Niobrara River and continues 9 miles (14 km) before encountering the first city on the route, Harrison. It then crosses the White River near Fort Robinson and, at Crawford heads northeast where it meets with U.S. Highway 385 for two miles (3 km) before entering Chadron. It then heads southeast toward Hay Springs where it again turns in an east/northeasterly direction toward Merriman. At this point U.S. 20 is only about 5 miles (8.0 km) from the South Dakota border. From Merriman it heads east through the small towns of Cody, Nenzel, and Kilgore to Valentine. This 196-mile (315 km) section of U.S. 20 has been noted by the Department of Roads for its history and natural beauty and has been designated as the "Bridges to Buttes Byway."[1][2]

US 20 enters Nebraska

At Valentine U.S. 20 heads south as it overlaps U.S. Highway 83 for 5 miles (8.0 km). It then continues southeast towards Ainsworth passing through Wood Lake and Johnstown on the way. At Ainsworth it heads due east past Bassett and Newport. Then near Stuart it follows the Elkhorn River through Atkinson and Emmet before meeting up with U.S. 275 in O'Neill.[1][2]

In O'Neill U.S. 20 turns southeast and joins with U.S. Highway 275 for 13 miles (21 km), passing through Inman before again branching off on its own. From there it passes through Orchard, Royal, Plainview and Osmond before it junctions with U.S. Highway 81. From there it continues east through Laurel where it turns due north on a concurrency with Nebraska Highway 15 for 3 miles (4.8 km). Heading east again it passes through Willis and then Jackson near the South Sioux City outskirts.[1][2]

The last section of U.S. 20 is essentially a southern bypass of South Sioux City. About one mile (1.6 km) before the U.S. 20/U.S. 75/77 Jct it becomes an expressway. At the junction of U.S. Highway 75 and U.S. Highway 77 it joins with U.S. 75 and Interstate 129 as a freeway into Iowa. From there it continues its function as a southeast bypass of Sioux City.[1][2]

Former alignment[edit]

An older alignment of US-20 ran about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of the current section east of Laurel. This alignment went due east from Laurel, passing just north of Dixon and Allen, then headed north to the current alignment along Nebraska Highway 9.[3]


In November, 2010, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman approved designating US-20 from Hay Springs to Fort Robinson in honor of Crazy Horse, capping a year-long effort by citizens of Chadron. The designation may extend east another 100 miles through Cherry County to Valentine.[4] These segments of US-20 are also part of the Nebraska Bridges to Buttes Scenic Highway and follows the well-known Cowboy Line, a partially abandoned railroad now used as a hiking and biking trail.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile[1] Junction Notes
Sioux 0.00 US 20 west Wyoming border
Harrison 8.99 N‑29 south (Main Street)
Dawes Crawford 35.34 N‑2 east / N‑71 south West end of NE 2/NE 71 overlap
36.20 N‑2 west / N‑71 north East end of NE 2/NE 71 overlap
Whitney 45.07 S‑23A north (Whitney Spur Road)
56.06 L‑23D north
56.39 US 385 north West end of US 385 overlap
Chadron 58.59 US 385 south (Ash Street) East end of US 385 overlap
Sheridan Hay Springs 78.88 N‑87 south West end of NE 87 overlap
Rushville 90.27 N‑87 north East end of NE 87 overlap
91.29 N‑250 south (Chamberlain Street)
Gordon 105.91 N‑27 (South Main Street)
Cherry Merriman 135.81 N‑61 south (Mills Street) West end of NE 61 overlap
135.84 N‑61 north East end of NE 61 overlap
Nenzel 167.03 S‑16F south (Main Street)
Valentine 196.72 N‑97 south (Airport Road)
196.92 US 83 north (South Main Street) West end of US 83 overlap
202.08 US 83 south East end of US 83 overlap
Brown Ainsworth 242.08 N‑7 south (North Main Street) West end of NE 7 overlap
Long Pine 247.55 US 183 north West end of US 183 overlap
250.39 S‑9A south
Rock Bassett 259.17 US 183 south / N‑7 north (Clark Street) East end of US 183/NE 7 overlap
Newport 270.25 N‑137 north (4th Street)
Holt Atkinson 289.25 N‑11 north West end of NE 11 overlap
289.76 N‑11 south (South Hyde Street) East end of NE 11 overlap
O'Neill 307.09 US 281 north (North Harrison Street) West end of US 281 overlap
307.59 US 281 south (South 4th Street) / US 275 East end of US 281 overlap, west end of US 275 overlap
320.62 US 275 south East end of US 275 overlap
Page 322.80 S‑45A north
Ewing 326.69 L‑45B south
Antelope 342.73 N‑14
Brunswick 345.77 S‑2B south (527th Avenue)
349.75 N‑13 north West end of NE 13 overlap
Pierce Plainview 354.43 N‑13 south East end of NE 13 overlap
Osmond 364.55 N‑121 south (546th Avenue) West end of NE 121 overlap
367.84 N‑121 north (549th Avenue) East end of NE 121 overlap
McLean 371.83 S‑70A north (553rd Avenue)
373.83 US 81 (555th Avenue)
Cedar Belden 385.36 N‑57 north (566th Avenue) West end of NE 57 overlap
386.38 N‑57 south (567th Avenue) East end of NE 57 overlap
Laurel 391.41 N‑15 south West end of NE 15 overlap
393.92 N‑15 north (572 Avenue) East end of NE 15 overlap
394.62 N‑59 west (872nd Road)
Dixon 399.20 N‑116 south (577 Avenue)
406.93 N‑9 south West end of NE 9 overlap
407.74 N‑9 north East end of NE 9 overlap
Waterbury 413.05 S‑26A south
Dakota 418.07 N‑12 west
426.33 N‑110 south (G Avenue)
South Sioux City 428.36 West end of freeway section
I‑129 West end of I-129 overlap
428.74 US 75 / US 77 south – Fairgrounds I-129 exit 1A, west end of US 75 overlap
428.76 US 77 north – Sioux City I-129 exit 1B
429.86 South Sioux City, Dakota City I-129 exit 2
431.57 I-129 / US 20 east / US 75 north Iowa border at Sergeant Floyd Memorial Bridge over Missouri River


External links[edit]

U.S. Route 20
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