Posted 2 years ago

By Post Staff

Ports to Plains map - 1The annual meeting of the Heartland Expressway Association is tomorrow at 10:00 in Alliance at the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center…a month later than originally scheduled, thanks to one of western Nebraska’s April snowstorms.

The Heartland Expressway Association is made up of private and public entities as well as individuals who support construction of the 4-lane highway between Denver and Rapid City. Board member Tim Garwood of Alliance says the annual meeting is a good way for the public to get updated on its progress.

In South Dakota, the Heartland Expressway is now 4 lanes from Rapid City to about halfway between Hot Springs and the Nebraska state line with plans to reach the state line before the end of the decade.

In Nebraska, the route is 4-lanes from Interstate 80 at Kimball to Minatare, with the next phase to be widening Highway 385 from Alliance to south of Angora.  In fact, the Nebraska Highway Commission will talk about that project at its next regular meeting this week.

The Heartland Expressway is also part of the larger Ports to Plains concept…a proposed 4-lane route from Mexico to Canada…and an update on it will be part of tomorrow’s annual meeting.

Alliance Mayor Fred Feldges will open the meeting with welcoming remarks at 10:00, followed at 10:15 by a brief history from Heartland Expressway Association chairman and Gering city administrator Lane Danielzuk.

Group treasurer and Nebraska Northwest Development Corporation executive director Deb Cottier will then give a legislative update that will lead into an update of the Heartland Expressway Corridor Development and Management Plan for Randy Eldorado of the Nebraska Department of Roads.

Two members of the Ports to Plains Alliance…vice president of operations Joe Kiely and vice president of membership and marketing Duffy Hinkle…will give updates on their group’s effort.

After a lunch break, Danielzuk will moderate a question-and-answer period before Nebraska Highway Commissioner and Scotts Bluff County Commissioner Doug Leafgreen wraps up the meeting with closing remarks.