Effort to boost Omaha-area speeds OK'd

| 2/28/2007

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has signed a bill into law that will allow drivers to travel faster along two stretches of roadway near Omaha.

The new law, previously LB35, increases 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 new law now in effect focuses solely on highways 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 will 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 highway 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.