Interstate Highways

US Numbered Highways

State Highways

State Link and Spur Highways

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Nebraska Roads
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Nebraska's roads can be divided into four types: Interstate highways, US numbered highways, Nebraska state highways, and Nebraska link and spur highways. Learn more about these roads in the descriptions and links below and to the left.

Interstate Highways

Created in 1956, the Interstate Highway System is a 42,000 mile network of four-lane, limited-access freeways spanning the United States. In Nebraska, there are about 480 miles of Interstate highways, with I-80 accounting for 455 of those miles.

Nebraska is the only state in the continental United States without a north-south Interstate highway. In 1968, the Nebraska Department of Roads submitted to the federal goverment proposals for construction of Interstate routes along the following corridors:

  1. US 81 from the Kansas state line to York
  2. US 77 from Lincoln to South Sioux City
  3. US 34/281 from Hastings to I-80
  4. US 34/281 from I-80 to Grand Island
  5. US 275 from Omaha to around North Bend (link to corridor 2)
  6. US 20 from South Sioux City to the Iowa state line

This proposal would have created an additional 268 miles of Interstate highways through Nebraska; however, this request (except for the corridor that would become I-129) was not approved.

US Numbered Highways

The US highway system was created in 1926 to better facilitate national highway travel. In Nebraska, 20 routes have had US highway status, including the primary cross-country routes 20, 30, and 81, the short-lived 38, and three routes that barely make a dent in the state (73, 138, 159). To learn more about a US highway in Nebraska, click on the links to the left or below:

6 20 26 26N 30 30S 34 38
73 73E 73W 75 77 81 83 136
138 159 183 275 281 283 383 385

Nebraska State Highways

Nebraska first numbered its highways by 1921, complementing (but not supplanting) the system of named highways already in use. After experimenting with this piecemeal numbering system, the state switched to a new numbering system in 1925. This system has survived in some form in to the present day. (NOTE: Highway histories and reformatting will be appearing soon!)

1-10 11-20 21-40 41-60 61-80
81-100 101-119 121-192 202-392 402-1283

State Link and Spur Highways

Nebraska's link and spur highways connect small towns to the outside world; provide access to state parks and recreation areas; and link longer state, US, and Interstate highways to other parts of Nebraska's highway system. The first numbering system for Nebraska's "minor" highways, which added a third or fourth digit to a two- or three-digit route, was adopted in 1957; the current one, which numbers the routes by county and a letter suffix, was adopted around 1971.

Nebraska also has a third highway of this class, the recreation road (it is abbreviated in the same way as link and spur highways). Recreation roads are designated by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, but are maintained by the Nebraska Department of Roads. They are not signed on Nebraska's highways (with at least one exception). Also, they are not listed individually in the offical Nebraska route log, but are noted at junctions with other routes. Recreation roads are listed with link and spur routes for each county.

The images below are an example of a Nebraska link shield, a Nebraska recreation road shield, and a Nebraska spur shield.

(Images are from the Nebraska MUTCD Standard Highway Signs)

Adams-Colfax Cuming-Grant Greeley-Logan
Loup-Saline Sarpy-York

© 2002 - 2003 Jesse Whidden
Last Modified 8/15/2003