ALLIANCE, Neb. The Heartland Expressway Association had their annual meeting to discuss the process of the highway. The Heartland Expressway is a federally designated, high priority corridor. When completed, the Heartland Expressway will provide multi-lane, divided highway access between Rapid City, South Dakota and Denver, Colorado through Alliance and Scottsbluff, Nebraska and Brush Colorado.
“At this point, we’re finally at the point where we are starting to see some construction but that is from the result of many people’s long years of working towards this and having the vision to move forward on this project,” said Annie Folck, Planner Coordinator for the City of Scottsbluff.
The key speakers for the meeting included US Senator Deb Fisher, HEA Chairman Lane Danielzuk, Vice of Operations Joe Kiely and NDOT District 5 Engineer Doug Hoevet. The meeting included an unveiling ceremony of the new Heartland Expressway road sign.
“We are excited that the portion south of Alliance is under construction right now and we’re excited for the portion that is east of Minatare will be under construction, I believe starting in 2024,” said Folck.
Heartland Expressway completion will bring an estimated average of 2.5 million annual savings from accident reduction, 385-950 additional annual jobs and 9.5 million to 24.8 million in annual earnings. The Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor accounts for over 25% of US trade with Mexico and Canada with Mexico at 659 million and Canada at $1.51 billion.
“I have attended the flying in at Washington, DC a couple of times and so being able to have the opportunity to speak to our representative and senators about the importance of this route and getting a long term transportation bill which we did have passed a few years ago, is wonderful,” said Folck.
The project started in 1988 and the estimated time of finalizing the highway is next fall of 2018.