It’s been about a year since phase one of the Cherry Avenue interchange, which leads to The Archway, was finished.
But it's going to be a while before phase two and three are complete. Phase two of the project will connect Interstate 80 to Highway 30 and then bypass Kearney completely and connect to 56th street.
This spring, the Nebraska Department of Roads gave the go ahead, to start work on the second portion of the interchange at 11th Street and Cherry Avenue where the road currently ends.
"It’s in its very early stages, they just started about a week and a half ago and currently just grating operations are going on out there now," said Nebraska Department of Roads manager Tom Farber.
Phase three will extend all the way from 56th Ave. to Highway 10, making it nearly a complete bypass of town. Officials say it will alleviate a lot of traffic issues on Second Avenue caused by semis and other vehicles. Not only will it be an easier route for travel through Kearney, it will also be easier for many living in town as well.
"Ultimately it'll be easy, a lot easier for people that live in town that are coming from the east to get to their homesteads," said Farber. "There'll be an intersection at Coal Chute, and an intersection at 39th, and an intersection at 56th that people can get into town from using the bypass, rather than having to go on Second Avenue."
Phase two and three are expected to be done about the same time in late summer or early fall of 2016. The interchange will have four lanes leading up to 56th Street and then turn into two lanes from there to Highway 10.
After being asked if there has been any confusion for people with the new east Kearney exit, Farber said he hasn't had any complaints so far. And that there are signs posted to let people know that the road ends at 11th Street for now.