City funds speed up construction of $43-million Fremont bypass near Costco chicken plant

November 24, 2018

LINCOLN — A long-sought bypass around Fremont’s south side is nearing fruition. And an increased financial commitment from the City of Fremont is hastening the start of construction.

An open house for the Fremont Southeast Bypass will be held Dec. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Fremont Learning Center, 130 E. Ninth St., in Fremont.

The subject will be a 3.2-mile, $43 million four-lane bypass, which will connect U.S. Highway 77, just north of the Platte River bridge, to U.S. 275, passing just south of the planned Costco chicken-processing plant.

A bypass has been in the works since about 2006, after Fremont residents rejected a proposal to widen U.S. 77 to five lanes through the city, according to Tim Weander, a district engineer with the Nebraska Department of Transportation.

But the bypass languished until passage of the Build Nebraska Act in 2011, which earmarked ¼ cents of the state sales tax for expressway and high-priority projects.

Recently, the City of Fremont agreed to increase its funding for the project, committing up to $20 million of the cost, in exchange for moving up the start of construction to spring 2020.

The Costco project increased the need for the bypass, Weander said, to handle increased truck traffic and divert vehicles on U.S. 77 around the community of 26,400.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by fall 2021.

The preliminary design includes two roundabouts at the interchange linking the bypass with U.S. 275, which Weander said is the first time that design has been used in Nebraska.

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