Time Is Right For Nebraska-South Dakota Highway

A lawmaker is promoting construction of a long debated four-lane highway between Yankton and Norfolk, Nebraska, citing the recent availability of federal money.

Nebraska state Sen. Mike Flood has proposed a bill that would turn the 57-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 81 into an expressway. Flood said Norfolk was mistakenly overlooked on the state’s 1988 expressway plan linking cities of 15,000 with the interstate. Norfolk’s population is about 25,000.

In the latest census, Yankton has surpassed 15,000 residents, a figure that grows to about 20,000 residents when including the popular Lewis and Clark Lake area that comes with a steady traffic flow at certain times of the year.

Flood said the timing is right with the availability of federal pandemic relief funds and federal money for infrastructure projects.