History and Info

N-3 was first designated in 1925, but it was decommissioned in 1960.  It was replaced by U.S. 34 from the Colorado border to the intersection with U.S. 136 north of Edison.  U.S. 136 replaced N-3 from this intersection all the way to Brownville.  As a result, it is the first gap in state highway numbers found in Nebraska.

Proposed Changes

I propose that, based on observed traffic levels and the growth of Lincoln, a new N-3 be signed.  This new route would begin at N-41 and replace S-34B going into Firth (solving the oddity that is S-34B crossing into Lancaster County).  I would recommend constructing a short half-mile segment bypass of Firth on the west side of the tracks to improve traffic flow by not going through town and avoiding crossing the highly used railroad.  N-3 would then follow Firth Road for a mile before turning north onto South 68th Street.  It would follow this route past Norris Public School and Hickman before terminating at the soon-to-be-constructed South Lincoln Beltway (N-2).

As previously stated, this is a high traffic area and it would be good to have some state maintenance in the area.  Hickman is rapidly growing, and currently it is only served by S-55G by the state.  Firth also is growing, and Norris will likely be a Class A school within the next decade or two, which will further increase the number of cars using this route.  The roads are mostly good quality, with the exception of passing through Firth (averted by the proposed bypass).

This would also change S-55G to L-55G and extending it about a half mile into Hickman.  This is a relatively minor change.  N-3 would also intersect with my proposed addition to N-33.

Other options include extending N-3 north along the proposed East Lincoln Beltway, as this route does not currently bear a highway (although I will make an argument for making the entire beltway I-280).  It would be concurrent with N-2 for approximately 5 miles before N-2 would continue east.  It could also be aligned concurrently along N-41 and head south between Adams and Filley to terminate at U.S. 136.  This route is also paved (and would replace S-34C into Adams), although it may require some improvements.  This would be especially interesting as N-3 would be connecting to its former alignment.  It could even be extended two miles further south to intersect N-4; this would mean N-3 would be connecting N-2 and N-4; how appropriate!  This would require the paving of gravel roads, however.

Another option is to turn N-3 west along Hickman Road as it passes through Hickman.  This would align it along the already-existing S-55G.  It would continue to extend west until it reached Sprague, where it would turn north and replace S-55B and terminate at N-33.  It could also extend west all the way into Crete (Sprague Road is well-maintained) and terminate at N-33/N-103, although this would likely be frowned on as it would mean two mainline highways traveling parallel to each other only two miles apart.  With these options, I would recommend designating South 68th Street between N-3 and either the South Lincoln Beltway (N-2) or my proposed extension of N-33 as L-55B or L-55G.

600px-N-2 Home 600px-N-4