Lincoln and Lancaster County leaders have announced funding plans for the local share of a $300 million beltway project south of the capital city.
The plan announced Wednesday commits local governments to prepay their $50 million contribution over the next 16 months, saving them $10 million of what would have been $60 million — 20 percent of the total cost. Officials say the prepayment lets the state immediately move forward, avoiding construction cost inflation.
The so-called South Beltway would relieve traffic congestion and improve safety by connecting U.S. Highway 77 southwest of Lincoln to Nebraska Highway 2 southeast of the city.
The state Roads Department is planning a public meeting on beltway plans in late summer or early fall. The project construction is slated to begin in 2020.