History and Info
Where do we begin? N-66 is currently in four chunks, one of which is separated by a measly 0.13 mile. Let’s focus on connecting these first, starting from the east. Louisville is the location of the aforementioned gap; it appears the reason why this gap exists is because of the railroad tracks. I propose four options to solve this. One is simply to route N-66 across the tracks at 3rd Street. It makes things a bit kinky, but at least it makes more sense than what they’ve got and is the cheapest option. Option two is to construct a railroad crossing along 5th Street to directly connect the two highways. Along that train of thought (pardon the pun), another option is to construct a viaduct over the tracks. Given the close proximity to structures on either side, this could be difficult, not to mention expensive. A tunnel is likely not an option due to Mill Creek. The final option is to avoid the whole situation and build a bypass along the south side that would connect with N-66 where it intersects N-50 south of Louisville.
The second gap occurs between U.S. 77 and N-79. Interestingly, this gap used to be wider, but for unknown reasons N-66 was extended from Ashland, routed along N-63’s original alignment in 2005. My solution would be to restore N-63 and route N-66 concurrently to Ashland Road, where it would divert west. This route is already paved, and takes a mile jog north at 11 Road up to A Road. It crosses U.S. 77 at this point in Ceresco and continues as a paved road through to N-79. A short one-mile concurrency north and N-66 is connected even more! This would be a very inexpensive change, as the route is already there and should only require minor upgrading, if at all.
The final gap is the longest of all, extending between N-15 and U.S. 81. Interestingly, both ends of N-66 are directly horizontal from each other. I recommend simply extending N-66 across this gap. This route will require paving west of Ulysses (and would replace L-12C), but short of routing it nine miles to the north and running concurrently with N-92 across the gap I do not see another option.
Another change that I will advise (and this may actually be under consideration; I do not know what the plan currently is) is to route N-66 through Plattsmouth along U.S. 34; Iowa has I-66 open, so this could extend all the way to I-29. Once the new bridge opens north of Plattsmouth, U.S. 34 will be routed along that new highway, and it makes sense to extend N-66 along the old path.
Bucket List Status
Strangely enough, I have been on every segment at some point.