In 2015, industry leaders from Nebraska banded together to advocate for the completion of a four-lane expressway system that would greatly enhance the infrastructure in the Cornhusker state. A group of leaders from companies like Norfolk Iron & Metal, Nucor Steel, Alexander Cattle and Farms, Smeal Fire Apparatus, Scribner Grain, and Citizens State Bank were among the founding members of a coalition called “4 Lanes 4 Nebraska”. The mission of this coalition is to promote the expansion of two-lane highways to a four-lane divided expressway system.
One example includes Nebraska’s Highway 275, originally constructed in 1939. In 1988, the State of Nebraska started plans to connect every major Nebraska city larger than 15,000 people to a four-lane divided expressway system. Thirty-three years later, large sections of Highway 275 remain a two-lane highway. Thanks to the continued advocacy of local business/industry leaders, community leaders, state senators, and members of the 4 Lanes 4 Nebraska coalition, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) recently signed contracts to being work on a segment of Highway 275. NDOT is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the project on July 14, 2021 in West Point. Nebraska lawmakers also passed a bill in 2021 that required the NDOT to provide more precise timetables regarding the completion of future segments of the expressway system project.
The announcement that a section of Highway 275 is being improved is being celebrated by executives at NIM Group, the parent company of Norfolk Iron & Metal, Metalwest, and Cd’A Metals. NIM Group President, Arnie Robinson, told us, “Northeast Nebraska is a manufacturing hub and our desire for a four-lane divide expressway is obvious. It is essential for our business for ease and timeliness of customer deliveries, but primarily it is needed for the traffic safety of all drivers and members of our communities. Highway 275, for example, connects our Norfolk processing location to Interstate 80 and Nebraska’s largest city, Omaha. The drive to Omaha on this two-lane highway is congested with high numbers of semi traffic, residential traffic, and agricultural traffic. It is most definitely time for this expressway completion to become a reality! I am excited to hear that that our state is making it a priority and moving the project forward.”
Mr. Robinson went on to say, “Although we celebrate local advocacy and advancement of the Nebraska project, this is just one example of the infrastructure challenges faced by our 16 NIM Group locations across the country. We see limitations throughout the United States, and we continue to advocate with local, state, and national leaders to address the need for significant infrastructure improvements and advancements.” NIM Group is proud to support the MSCI #letsbuildnow campaign and urges all levels of leadership to make investing in communities a priority. Stronger infrastructure builds stronger communities, creates more jobs, and stabilizes our economy.