With new fuel tax revenue, Nebraska officials prepare to hit backlog of bridge, road repairs

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LINCOLN, Nebraska — Nebraska officials say the state's upcoming fuel tax increase will help replace old bridges, repave county roads and allow work on construction projects to start earlier.

Lawmakers overrode Gov. Pete Rickett's veto and approved the 6-cent-per-gallon increase last week. It won't start phasing in until Jan. 1, but state and local officials say they already have a rough idea of which projects will take priority.

County officials say they'll focus on structurally deficient bridges, many of which must support large farm equipment and school buses. City officials will likely use the money for road repairs, while the state Department of Roads says its share could help work start sooner on longer-term projects.

The tax will generate about $75 million annually by 2020, divided evenly among cities, counties and the state.

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