A domino effect starts quickly in local planning for the widening of the northernmost four miles of Highway 75 in Cass County. The City of Plattsmouth and Cass County are looking at associated costs; the Highway 50 and I-29 corridors are likely to keep increased traffic counts during much of the four year construction schedule.
The Nebraska Department of Roads announced Friday that the $68 million freeway upgrade north from Avenue B, and construction of a new interchange at 75 and Bay Road, would begin next year. (See Cassgram Monday 8/15 available at www.cassgram.com.)
---Included in the $68 million engineer’s estimate is a local cost share for the City of Plattsmouth. Of course it will all be dependent upon how the bids come in, said city administrator Erv Portis, but as it stands now the city’s share is projected at $770,000. In a report to the Plattsmouth City Council, Portis said he’s already exploring financing options and the most likely mechanism he’d recommend at this time is the issuance of 20-year highway allocation bond notes.
“It’s a good problem to have,” said Portis.
---County commissioner comments echoed the same sentiment. “It (the highway upgrade) is really going to impact on our county budget short term,” said District 5 Commissioner Ron Nolte, “but the impact over the long term could basically (equate to) the best thing that ever happened.”
With one lane travel each way on that portion of Highway 75 through much of the state construction period, and even more congestion expected to materialize at the Bay Road intersection, District 2 Commissioner Janet McCartney believes her constituents from Buccaneer Bay and westward will be taking alternate routes. (The state is not obligated to upgrade ancillary roads during a project like this.) She thinks most will want to take 18th Street south off Bay Road and go on Oak Hill Road east to catch the traffic signal at Oak Hill/Avenue B, and then go north on Highway 75. Hard-surfacing the two miles of 18th Street that is unpaved now becomes a priority, she said.