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Project Profile: Lincoln South Beltway Highway, Nebraska


Caption: The work zone of the Lincoln South Beltway project. The crews began working on bridge pilings and the support structures that will hold up a flyway crossing over U.S. 77 that westbound drivers will use to go south toward Beatrice.

Source: Credit to the Nebraska Department of Transportation

Project Name

Lincoln South Beltway Highway


Lincoln, Nebraska

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Hawkins Construction, Nebraska Department of Transportation

Program Areas Alternative Project delivery Project Finance Value Capture
Value Capture Techniques

Private Contribution


Highway and Bridge


The Lincoln South Beltway project includes an 11-mile stretch of east-west freeway south of the City of Lincoln, Nebraska, located between U.S. Highway 77 (US-77) on the west and Nebraska 2 (N-2) on the east, and generally located 0.5 miles south of Saltillo Road. The project is intended to improve east-west connectivity for regional and interstate travel through Nebraska and reduce conflicts between local and thru traffic in Lincoln. In addition, the project will address increased travel demand on Lincoln’s transportation network, conflicts between local and regional trips along Nebraska Highway through Lincoln, and challenges associated with heavy truck traffic through Lincoln.

To improve traffic flow through the city, the freeway will connect N-2 southeast of Lincoln with US-77 southwest of Lincoln. The new freeway will include four travel lanes (two in each direction), inside and outside shoulders, a depressed median, and five grade-separated interchanges, including freeway connections with US-77 and N-2, and local road connections at S. 27th, S. 68th, and S. 82nd Streets. The project includes two system interchanges, three service interchanges, 43 miles of roadway alignments, 23 bridges, and 11 roundabouts.

To complete the State’s largest transportation project, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) awarded Hawkins Construction with a contract in December 2019. The construction will occur in phases to minimize impacts to access.

NDOT partnered with the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County, and the U.S. Department of Transportation to secure funding and prioritize the project. To finance the project, the State developed a funding mechanism that would allow for payments to be spread out over eight-year period, despite the project’s expected three-year completion timeline. Per the contract, NDOT could pay a set amount each quarter, and Hawkins Construction could seek financing to cover costs during construction.
Work began on the Lincoln South Beltway in February 2020 with building box culverts, making drainage improvements, and clearing shrubs and trees.

Though the impact from COVID-19 kept Hawkins Construction from finalizing their financial package within the originally scheduled time, construction has continued to move forward. The project is slated for open to traffic in spring 2023.

$352 million

Funding Sources
  • $317 million from State funds, including from the Build Nebraska Act, and local contributions from the City. Approximately USD 236.8m of tax-exempt bonds backing the project, issued by the Arizona Industrial Development Authority, sold on 27 March 2020
  • $33.2 million from Federal funds, including $25 million from a Federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant.
  • $1.18 million from contractor
Project Delivery / Contract Method

Design-Bid-Build-Finance (DBF)
The project is being delivered under a deferred-payment contract. The project is being delivered under a deferred-payment contract. The contractor, Hawkins Construction, is building it under a maximum payment curve.

Private Partner

Hawkins Construction

Project Advisors / Consultants Sponsor
  • Mercator Advisors (Financial)
  • Nossaman LLP (Legal)


  • Chapman and Cutler (Legal)
  • BTY Group (Construction & Technical Advisor)


  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) LLC (Financial/Underwriter)
  • DWPF (Model Auditor)

Project Investor

  • Hawkins Construction

$237 million Series 2020 Tax-exempt Bond Issued by the Arizona Industrial Development Authority as conduit issuer.

Duration / Status

In December 2019, NDOT awarded Hawkins Construction a contract to build the Lincoln South Beltway. Hawkins Construction reached financial close on their bond financing on April 9, 2020. Construction began in February 2020 and is expected to be open to traffic by May 2023 and completed by May 2024.

Financial Status / Financial Performance

On January 24, 2020, NDOT and the contractor entered a construction contract that generally requires Hawkins Construction to complete the project in three years while allowing NDOT to make a fixed stream of payments over the original seven- to ten-year pay schedule. Per the construction contract, the contractor will be eligible for certain progress payments paid by NDOT based on the amount earned for quantities of work completed and accepted by NDOT. To the extent, a monthly progress payment owed to the contractor is in excess of the applicable maximum cumulative amount specified under the construction contract - $7.5 million per calendar quarter - the excess amount of the progress payment owed to the contractor will be made by NDOT in the form of deferred-contract payment certificates issued to the contractor.

  • This is the largest project undertaken by NDOT.
  • The first-of-its-kind transportation project uses a contractor-led, build-finance structure and delivered the largest single-contract project in the history of NDOT.
  • The contract provides a partnership between NDOT and Hawkins Construction to extend the payments for work completed beyond the project completion date.
  • An innovative "pay-as-you-go" option that will accelerate construction, shaving four years off the project's timeline while maintaining the original eight-year payment period laid out in the phased construction approach.
  • The project uses a new financing approach - deferred-contract payment certificates - that allows the project to be built over three years but paid over a longer period, accelerating original phased plans.
  • The project will improve east-west connectivity for regional and interstate travel through Nebraska and reduce conflicts between local and thru traffic, resulting in a more efficient transportation system.
Related Links / Articles

      Jeni Campana
      Communication Manager
     (402) 479-4512


Caption: Construction is underway on the 11-mile Lincoln South Beltway between US-77 west and N-2 east in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Source: Credit to the Nebraska Department of Transportation

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