Motorists began driving between Union and Nebraska City on U.S. Highway 75 on Friday after a major Nebraska Department of Roads project was mostly completed.

The newly paved Highway 75 stretch opened just in time for the popular Applejack Festival, which runs Sept. 19-21 in Nebraska City.

Two newly surfaced concrete lanes, new concrete shoulders, improved drainage, four newly repaired bridges and new guardrails were among the project’s update.

The work began in March, the Roads Department said, and Cedar Valley Paving of Waterloo, Iowa, handled the $11 million upgrade over the approximately 12-mile project.

Lane markings were installed this week, the Roads Department said, and grading, bridge sealing and permanent seeding work will continue while the roadway is in use.

Lane closures and pilot vehicles will be needed to complete the work, said Roads Department officials, who added that work-zone flagging stations may also be needed.

Completion of all work will occur later this fall, they said.

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