Gov. Ricketts Announces Progress on Roadways, Thanks Trump Administration and Nebraska’s Federal Delegation for Support
LINCOLN, NE (STL.News) Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced the acceleration of multiple infrastructure projects in the greater Omaha area thanks to a close partnership between the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) and the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA).
Under the Ricketts’ Administration, NDOT has been focused on efficiencies in project delivery to expedite projects and deliver much-needed improvements faster. This announcement comes after the NDOT received authority from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to obligate an additional $45 million in federal funding to various transportation projects in the state.
“The NDOT has worked closely with MAPA to create efficiencies and optimize federal funds,” said Gov. Ricketts. “This partnership resulted in more effective execution of the project delivery process and an acceleration of much-needed projects in the Omaha area. I want to thank President Trump and his administration for their ongoing support for infrastructure and the Nebraska federal delegation for their continued advocacy for Nebraska.”
MAPA and NDOT had been working closely to efficiently obligate $54 million of MAPA’s federal aid balance. Due to the success, the State was able to advance spending authority to MAPA to accelerate key infrastructure projects. The authority comes from what FHWA calls “August Redistribution.” Under it, state departments of transportation are allowed to obligate a portion of unused federal fiscal year 2020 funds and redistribute them to states that have demonstrated ability to effectively obligate funds by September 30, 2020.
A sample of the projects benefiting from the additional spending authority:
Reimbursement expenses for four-lane urban reconstruction in Douglas County on 180th Street
Reconstruct 168th Street, West Center to Poppleton in Omaha
Reconstruct 36th Street from N-370-Sharidan Road in Bellevue
Reconstruct 156th Street in Bennington
Funding received through August Redistribution does not increase total funding to states but accelerates the construction reimbursement process.
GOV RICKETTS’ COMMITMENT TO TRANSPORTATION IS GROWING NEBRASKA
Over the past few years, Governor Ricketts has worked with the Nebraska Legislature and transportation stakeholders to focus on ways to modernize Nebraska’s transportation system through innovation and efficiency. Previous initiatives include:
- Streamlining Processes (LB271): The NDOT’s undertaking of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Assumption streamlines the environmental review process and accelerates project delivery.
- Merging Agencies (LB339): Merging the Department of Roads and the Department of Aeronautics to create the Nebraska Department of Transportation, driving efficiencies that allow savings to be reinvested into roads and runways.
- New Standards: Updates to the state’s roads standards in partnership with the Nebraska Board of Public Roads Classifications and Standards (NBCS) to modernize requirements for new construction and preservation of state highways, county roads, and municipal streets.
- Public Input: Updated and expanded the prioritization process for projects constructed and funded by the Build Nebraska Act and the Transportation Innovation Act that took into account economic impact and stakeholder input, while continuing to consider engineering performance.
- Improving Speed Limit Consistency (LB1009): Right-sized and improved consistency of speed limits for Nebraskans across the state.
- Transportation Innovation Act (LB960): The Transportation Innovation Act provided NDOT with new revenue, programs, and tools to increase mobility, freight, economic growth, and safety in Nebraska.