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Highway 65 Bypass progress update

By: Tom Cosgrove Special to The News Messenger
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To begin, I believe it is important to address a rumor that pops up periodically that work on the Highway 65 Bypass has stopped. Let me assure you that work on the Highway 65 Bypass is continuing and the project funding, which comes from the state, is intact. The first phase of the bypass project is expected to be finished about the middle of next year at which time the bypass will be opened to traffic. Next, over the past few weeks, you may have noticed that the Highway 65 Bypass project and the existing Highway 65 route have undergone some changes. For residents who use Nicolaus Road to travel west of town, there is now a bridge that crosses over the bypass alignment. At the apex of the bridge, travelers can see a vista of the area that is quite interesting. With the Nicolaus Road bridge now open to traffic and the detour gone, the road builders have been able to connect the completed bypass sections south and north of the bridge. There have also been significant changes at the rodeo grounds section of Highway 65. Both southbound and northbound sections of the existing Highway 65 are now routed under the new overcrossing, reconnecting to the existing Highway 65 at the Sterling intersection. The re-routing is needed to allow construction materials to be moved along the bypass alignment and for work to be done on the connection between the existing Highway 65 route and the new bypass route. Speed-limit warnings are posted and travelers should use caution. These changes are expected to be in place until the new route for the Highway 65 Bypass is completed. These changes can be annoying and inconvenient but are necessary for the bypass to be finished and opened next year. And please keep in mind that they are temporary, as was the Nicolaus Road detour. Lastly, funding for phase 2A of the bypass has been approved. This funding will allow the four-lane section of the bypass project to be extended to north of Wise Road. This additional work will begin next year, following the opening of the first phase of the bypass. There should be no impact to local traffic and minimal impact along the new bypass route during the construction of this phase. I will continue to keep the community posted as work on the bypass progresses. Tom Cosgrove is a Lincoln councilman.