Effort would boost Omaha-area speeds

| 2/12/2007

The Nebraska Legislature approved a bill Monday, Feb. 12, that would allow all drivers to travel faster along two stretches of roadway near Omaha.

Senators voted to send a bill - LB35 - to Gov. Dave Heineman that would increase the speed limits from 60 mph to 65 mph along two four-lane highways. They are U.S. 275 from Fremont to Omaha and a stretch of state Route 75 from Bellevue to its interchange with Interstate 480 in Omaha.

Sponsored by Sen. Ray Janssen of Nickerson, the bill focuses solely on freeways that are part of the state highway system but not part of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.

Janssen told The Associated Press the change would make speed limits in Douglas County consistent with those on the same highways outside the county.

Vehicles traveling on the routes have been limited to 60 mph since the West Dodge Expressway was opened in October 2006. The expressway's opening triggered a county law that prohibits freeway traffic from moving at 65 mph.

A spokesman for the Nebraska Department of Roads told KETV-TV in Omaha that traffic conditions along the affected highways accommodate safe travel at 65 mph.

The Douglas County board passed a resolution last fall supporting a change to the speed limit laws.