Nebraska Legislature Advances Transportation Innovation Act
On March 21, 2016, the Nebraska Legislature advanced LB 960, the Transportation Innovation Act (the “Act”), to Final Reading (the last of three rounds of floor debate).
The Act creates a transportation infrastructure bank and several new programs to accelerate state and local roads projects. A $50 million transfer from the State’s Cash Reserve Fund and an earmark of new fuel tax revenue resulting from LB 610 (2015) will fund the transportation infrastructure bank. In total, the Act allocates over $450 million to projects prioritized by the Nebraska Department of Roads between July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2033.
LB 960 also authorizes the Department of Roads to solicit and execute design-build contracts and construction manager-general contractor contracts to accelerate completion of priority roads projects. The Department of Roads estimates having authority for design-build contracts will result in an acceleration of larger roads projects by two to four years.
LB 960 grants the Department of Roads broad authority in developing the following new programs to accelerate roads projects:
- Accelerated State Highway Capital Improvement Program provides funds to accelerate capital improvement projects, which may include the development of the expressway system, federally designated high priority corridors, and needs driven capacity improvements. This program terminates on June 30, 2033.
- County Bridge Match Program provides up to $40 million in additional funding to accelerate the repair and replacement of county bridges. This program terminates on June 30, 2023.
- Economic Opportunity Program provides up to $20 million to finance transportation improvement projects to attract, support, and expand business development in Nebraska. The Department of Roads, in consultation with the Department of Economic Development, may target roads projects as well as rail, port, or other transit systems. This program terminates on June 30, 2033.
The Department of Roads is responsible for developing the structure of the programs, project eligibility, requirements for matching funds, and other requirements.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about this bill or any others. Thank you.