U.S. Route 26 in Nebraska

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This article is about the section of U.S. Route 26 in Nebraska. For the entire length of the highway, see U.S. Route 26.

U.S. Highway 26 marker

U.S. Highway 26
Route information
Maintained by NDOR
Length: 150.82 mi[1] (242.72 km)
Major junctions
West end: US 26 at Wyoming border
 
East end: I‑80 / N‑61 at Ogallala
Location
Counties: Sioux, Scotts Bluff, Morrill, Garden, Keith
Highway system
N‑25 N‑27

U.S. Highway 26 (US‑26) is an east–west highway in western Nebraska. It enters the state from Wyoming just west of Henry. The eastern terminus of US‑26 is in Ogallala at an interchange with Interstate 80 (Nebraska) (I-80). The highway largely parallels the North Platte River for the majority of its route in Nebraska and as such, runs at a northwest-southeast angle. The highway also parallels the original paths of the Oregon Trail, the California Trail and the Mormon Pioneer Trail.

Route description[edit]

US‑26 enters Nebraska from Wyoming, and shortly thereafter enters Henry. After passing through Morrill, US‑26 becomes a divided highway. At Mitchell, US‑26 meets Nebraska Highway 29 (N‑29). Continuing southeast, US‑26 enters Scottsbluff. Through Scottsbluff, US‑26 runs concurrent with N‑71 and N‑92 on a highway which goes through northern Scottsbluff. After N‑71 and N‑92 separate, US‑26 continues to Minatare, Nebraska, where the divided highway ends. The highway runs due east until an intersection with Nebraska Link 62A (L-62A), when the highway turns south. US‑26 passes through Bayard and, after crossing the North Platte River meets with N‑92 again near Chimney Rock.[1][2]

US‑26 and N‑92 turn southeast towards Bridgeport. At Bridgeport, N‑92 separates and US‑26 meets US‑385. They cross the North Platte River together, and separate. US‑26 continues southeasterly on the north side of the North Platte River. At Broadwater, US‑26 begins its third concurrency with N‑92. They run together through Lisco, Oshkosh, and Lewellen. At Oshkosh, US‑26 meets Nebraska Highway 27. At Lewellen, US‑26 and N‑92 separate for the last time and shortly thereafter, US‑26 crosses the North Platte River again. After passing through Ash Hollow State Historical Park, the highway passes through no communities until meeting N‑61 northwest of Ogallala. US‑26 runs concurrent with N‑61 the rest of its length in Nebraska. The two highways go south to US‑30, then the three highways run concurrent into Ogallala. They then separate from US‑30, turn south to cross the South Platte River and US‑26 ends at I‑80.[1][2]

History[edit]

From the creation of the highway in 1926 until the 1930s, US-26 went north of the North Platte River east of Lewellen. This alignment went east to Martin, where US‑26 met N-61 and the two highways went south from there into Ogallala. When Lake McConaughy was built in the 1930s, the current alignment was constructed.[3]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
Sioux Henry 0.00 0.00 US 26 west Wyoming border
Scotts Bluff Mitchell 13.67 22.00 N‑29 north (19th Avenue)
Scottsbluff 21.63 34.81 N‑92 west West end of N-92 overlap
22.25 35.81 N‑71 north (County Road 21) West end of N-71 overlap
25.66 41.30 N‑71 south / N‑92 east East end of N-71/N-92 overlap
Minatare 31.90 51.34 L‑79E south (County Road 29)
Morrill   41.94 67.50 L‑62A east Former US-26N
Bayard 48.88 78.66 N‑92 west West end of N-92 overlap
Bridgeport 61.42 98.85 US 385 south / N‑92 east (M Street) East end of N-92 overlap; west end of US 385 overlap
62.42 100.46 US 385 north East end of US 385 overlap
Broadwater 76.49 123.10 N‑92 west West end of N-92 overlap
Garden Oshkosh 106.05 170.67 N‑27 south
Lewellen 118.89 191.33 N‑92 east East end of N-92 overlap
Keith Ogallala 144.90 233.19 N‑61 north West end of N-61 overlap
148.02 238.22 US 30 west West end of US 30 overlap
150.01 241.42 US 30 east (East 1st Street) South end of US 30 overlap
150.79 242.67 I‑80 (Exit 126) / N‑61 south (Big Mac Road) East end of N-61 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Related route[edit]

U.S. Highway 26N
Location: BayardBroadwater
Existed: 1936–1959

Between 1936 and 1959, there was a U.S. Highway 26N. It went east along today's L-62A, then south along today's US-385 to just north of Bridgeport and east along today's US‑26 to Broadwater. In those years, the mainline of US‑26 between Bridgeport and Broadwater went on the south side of the North Platte River, along today's Nebraska Highway 92.[4]

References[edit]


U.S. Route 26
Previous state:
Wyoming
Nebraska Next state:
Terminus