State officials are preparing for the official launch of the Nebraska Department of Transportation.
The Department of Aeronautics folds into the Department of Roads on Saturday, creating the new Department of Transportation.
Director Kyle Schneweis says the merger makes sense.
“In simple terms, we’re going to save money,” Schneweis tells those gathered for the unveiling of the new sign at the now NDOT headquarters, “and we’re going to save money on the administrative side, on our resource side, and we’re going to be able to put more money into roads and more money into runways.”
Schneweis estimates the state will save $100,000 a year once the new D-O-T becomes operational. He says the merger will allow Nebraska to become more responsive to its citizens and businesses.
“By thinking about transportation strategically, regardless of the mode we’re talking about,” according to Schneweis. “Our customer is not the road, it’s not the runway, it’s the people and businesses of our state and this creation of a D-O-T is going to help us do that. We’re going to be able to think more strategically as we’re trying to recruit businesses to our state. Do we need roads? Do we need runways? What do we need?”
Gov. Pete Ricketts says Nebraskans will benefit from the merger.
“This really will allow us to think more strategically,” according to Ricketts. “We’re not going to take our eye off the ball, the things we need to do to serve our customers. We’re going to be very customer responsive.”
The Unicameral approved the change during this year’s legislative session. It was a priority of Ricketts.