Alternative Fuel Corridors Designated in Omaha metro area
Interstate 80 and portions of US-6 are among those designated as Alternative Fuel Corridors by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This provides formal corridor designation now and in the future to build out a national network to support infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles. It is also the first step to placing signage along these routes directing motorists with alternative fuel vehicles to locations where they can access electrical vehicle charging stations as well as natural gas (CNG) and propane (LPG) filling stations.
Two categories exist for the designations. One is for those roadways which have sufficient alternative fuel facilities to merit highway signs while the other is for roadways which may add signs once they add more infrastructure for alternative fuels.
The FHWA determined I-80 from Omaha to Lincoln has sufficient alternative fuel facilities now for natural gas to warrant highway signs. For electric vehicles, I-80 from the Iowa border to Lincoln, Kearney to Lexington and North Platte to Ogallala received a similar designation.
The entire length of US-6 from the intersection with Route 31 in Gretna to the intersection with I-80 in Council Bluffs is designated for possible future highway signage for electric charging stations and natural gas and propane filling stations if additional facilities are added. The same status applies to I-80 from Lincoln to Kearney, Lexington to North Platte and Ogallala to the Nebraska/Wyoming border.
The Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) nominated US-6 for consideration as an Alternative Fuel Corridor while the Nebraska Energy Office nominated Interstate 80.
“Improving public access to alternative fuels benefits the environment by improving air quality and reducing emissions which create ground-level ozone,” said Greg Youell, MAPA Executive Director. “In addition, alternative fuel vehicles save motorists money and make the region more competitive as several major auto manufacturers are planning to launch electric vehicle models in 2017 and 2018.”
The designation of Alternative Fuel Corridors is established under the federal transportation funding bill known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act passed by Congress in late 2015.