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Spanning I-80 at Exit 275, the Archway offers a unique historical exhibit that brings American history to life and so much more.

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ABOUT US

Since it opened in the year 2000, the Archway has stood as an enduring tribute to the adventurers who traveled the Great Platte River Road though Nebraska and helped to build America. Over the years, we have welcomed and inspired over 1.5 million visitors with our story.

The Archway celebrates the American spirit of adventure.

Our Mission

The visitors to the Archway will experience the courageous adventure of the Great Platte River Road in the settlement of the American West.

Staff Members

Kellie Risk
Guest Services/Volunteer Coordinator
krisk@archway.org
Jill Epley
Event Coordinator
jepley@archway.org
Sharmond R. Loeffler
Assistant Director
sloeffler@archway.org
Mark Foradori
Marketing Coordinator
mforadori@archway.org

What’s Happening

Need the latest on The Archway? With our newsletter, guests and supporters can read about the latest events The Archway hosted as well as upcoming events, recent press releases and announcements. Please contact Marketing Coordinator Mark Foradori (308.237.1000 | mforadori@archway.org) with any questions.

9 hours ago

Kearney Archway

Don't miss Rascal Martinez at the Archway this Friday, February 28 at 7:30. Tickets are just $5/each and will be available at the door while supplies last. Check out Rascal's video below, then join us at the Archway and have some fun. ... See MoreSee Less

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1 day ago

Kearney Archway

February 26,1838, was the birthday of Patty Reed who was only 8 years old when her family set out from Illinois to travel west on the Great Platte River Road with an expedition led by Jacob and George Donner. A blizzard in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains brought many in their party to a tragic end. The Reeds, however, eventually made it to California and Patty lived to the age of 85. Hear the Reed family's story and much more when you visit the Archway at I-80 Exit 275 in Kearney, NE. Learn more at archway.org/ ... See MoreSee Less

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4 days ago

Kearney Archway

Sandhill cranes have been spotted in the Archway Gift Shop at I-80 Exit 275 in Kearney, NE. Stop in and check out our crane T-shirts, hats, plush toys and more. Then, share an epic adventure on our historical tour. Learn more at archway.org/ ... See MoreSee Less

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Hop Into Leap Day

Date: February 28, 2020

Time: 7:30pm

2020-2-3 Rascal Authorized Photo

Join us for a “sock-hop” style event featuring the music of Rascal Martinez.  Dance along with us or just come and enjoy the music.  Tickets are $5/each and can be purchased in advance at the Peterson Senior Activity Center or at the Archway or by clicking the link on the left.  Sponsored by the Archway and the Peterson Senior Activity Center.

Archie’s Adventure Camp

Date: March 6, 2020

Time: 8:00am - 3:00pm

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Let’s make some music! Join us on March 6 for a fun-filled day of learning at Archie’s Adventure Camp. During March’s Adventure Camp, participants will learn about music, build their own instruments, and make some music all their own. Archie’s Adventure Camp is open to children in grades K-5 and is scheduled for dates when Kearney Public Schools are closed. Snacks and lunch are included.  For information, call the Archway at (308)237-1000 or register online by clicking the link on the left.

Crane Photography Class

Date: March 13, 2020

Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Location: Archway

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Take outstanding wild life pictures, even with a cell phone.  Instructors Patty Geist and Don Brockmeier will help you create beautiful images of your crane viewing adventure to enjoy and share for years to come. Learn composition and lighting techniques that will help you take great photos on any equipment. We’ll provide tips and examples of photographic methods that will help you focus on your subjects and add impact to your images. And, we’ll share apps and accessories that will help change cell phone snapshots into artful keepsakes. Photo by Don Brockmeier.

 

Archway Crane Day

Date: March 18, 2020

Time: 8:00am - 8:00pm

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Immerse yourself in Sandhill Crane culture during this day-long workshop. Learn about crane characteristics with a Nebraska Game and Parks wildlife biologist and what to watch for in crane behavior from an expert at Rowe Sanctuary.

Express your artistic side and create a simple crane painting with Kearney artist Diane Sciachitano and learn how anyone can take great wildlife photographs with photography instructor Patty Geist.

Discover the history of the Platte River Valley from the Oregon Trail era through today with a tour of the Archway’s historical exhibit and enjoy a front row seat for evening crane viewing in the blind at Rowe Sanctuary.

The day begins at 8:00am at the Archway and ends when the cranes settle in to their roost at Rowe Sanctuary in the evening.

The package includes all your meals for the day. Transportation to Rowe Sanctuary and back to the Archway is provided courtesy of Prestige Rentals. All you do is show up and have fun!

The complete program is available on Wednesday, March 18 or Thursday, March 19. Get more information by calling (308) 237-1000 or register online by clicking the link at left. Photo by Don Brockmeier.

Crane Photography Class

Date: March 18, 2020

Time: 9:00 am -10:30 am

Location: The Archway

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Take outstanding wild life pictures, even with a cell phone. Instructors Patty Geist and Don Brockmeier will help you create beautiful images of your crane viewing adventure to enjoy and share for years to come. Learn composition and lighting techniques that will help you take great photos on any equipment. We’ll provide tips and examples of photographic methods that will help you focus on your subjects and add impact to your images. And, we’ll share apps and accessories that will help change cell phone snapshots into artful keepsakes. Photo by Don Brockmeier.

 

Archway Crane Day

Date: March 19, 2020

Time: 8:00am - 8:00pm

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Immerse yourself in Sandhill Crane culture during this day-long workshop. Learn about crane characteristics with a Nebraska Game and Parks wildlife biologist and what to watch for in crane behavior from an expert at Rowe Sanctuary.

Express your artistic side and create a simple crane painting with Kearney artist Diane Sciachitano and learn how anyone can take great wildlife photographs with photography instructor Patty Geist.

Discover the history of the Platte River Valley from the Oregon Trail era through today with a tour of the Archway’s historical exhibit and enjoy a front row seat for evening crane viewing in the blind at Rowe Sanctuary.

The day begins at 8:00am at the Archway and ends when the cranes settle in to their roost at Rowe Sanctuary in the evening.

The package includes all your meals for the day. Transportation to Rowe Sanctuary and back to the Archway is provided courtesy of Prestige Rentals. All you do is show up and have fun!

The complete program is available on Wednesday, March 18 or Thursday, March 19. Get more information by calling (308) 237-1000 or register online by clicking the link at left. Photo by Don Brockmeier.

Crane Photography Class

Date: March 19, 2020

Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Location: The Archway

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Take outstanding wild life pictures, even with a cell phone. Instructors Patty Geist and Don Brockmeier will help you create beautiful images of your crane viewing adventure to enjoy and share for years to come. Learn composition and lighting techniques that will help you take great photos on any equipment. We’ll provide tips and examples of photographic methods that will help you focus on your subjects and add impact to your images. And, we’ll share apps and accessories that will help change cell phone snapshots into artful keepsakes.  Photo by Don Brockmeier.

 

Crane Photography Class

Date: March 27, 2020

Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Location: The Archway

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Take outstanding wild life pictures, even with a cell phone. Instructors Patty Geist and Don Brockmeier will help you create beautiful images of your crane viewing adventure to enjoy and share for years to come. Learn composition and lighting techniques that will help you take great photos on any equipment. We’ll provide tips and examples of photographic methods that will help you focus on your subjects and add impact to your images. And, we’ll share apps and accessories that will help change cell phone snapshots into artful keepsakes. Photo by Don Brockmeier.

 

Crane Photography Class

Date: April 3, 2020

Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Location: The Archway

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Take outstanding wild life pictures, even with a cell phone. Instructors Patty Geist and Don Brockmeier will help you create beautiful images of your crane viewing adventure to enjoy and share for years to come. Learn composition and lighting techniques that will help you take great photos on any equipment. We’ll provide tips and examples of photographic methods that will help you focus on your subjects and add impact to your images. And, we’ll share apps and accessories that will help change cell phone snapshots into artful keepsakes. Photo by Don Brockmeier.

 

MOST RECENT NEWSLETTER

Experience the American Spirit of Adventure

Since prehistoric times, the path along the Platte River through Nebraska, once known as the Great Platter River Road, has served as a migratory route across the continent. From the Oregon Trail era to today, the Archway brings the story of the Great Platte River Road to life.

The heart of the Archway experience is our historical exhibit that pays tribute to the American spirit of adventure. Using life size figures and personal audio guides, the Archway tells the story of the building of America. At the Archway, you’ll walk with the pioneers over the Oregon Trail. Watch a rider switch horses at a Pony Express Station. Hear Mark Twain’s account of a cross country stage coach trip. Relive the driving of the “Golden Spike” that united the nation’s railroads. Visit a traveler’s campground to hear stories of life on “America’s Main Street,” the Lincoln Highway.

Spanning I-80, today’s coast-to-coast travel corridor, at Exit 275, the Archway celebrates the lives of all of the adventurers who follow the river’s path, those of the past, who helped to build our nation, and those of today, who will shape our future.

Archway Origins

The Archway was originally conceived by Frank Morrison, the 31st Governor of Nebraska, who served from 1961-1967. It was his dream to create an enduring monument to the adventurers who followed the Great Platte River Road and helped to build America.

Imagine the daring and determination of the people who first traveled the Oregon Trail, the high-spirited adventure of racing to California during the Gold Rush of 1849, the devotion of the Mormons who moved west in search of religious freedom, the entrepreneurial spirit that lead to the creation of the Pony Express, the industry that built the Transcontinental Railroad and the cooperative effort that lead to the creation of “America’s Main Street,” the Lincoln Highway and the Interstate Highway System. Individuals of vision and courage found ways to work together to turn their dreams into reality and to contribute to an enterprise that was much bigger than themselves. The Archway tells this evocative story and seeks to inspire current day adventurers to face today’s challenges with courage and tenacity in order to continue to build a nation in which we can all take justifiable pride.

The Archway’s Innovative Structure

The Archway’s historical exhibit, shop, theater and event room are housed in a dramatic structure that spans I-80 at Exit 275. The building’s exterior was designed to emulate a covered bridge. The colors on the arch’s surface represent those of a Midwest sunrise.

Talk about American ingenuity! The engineers in charge of building the Archway were faced with the challenge of erecting a 1,500 ton structure that would eventually be suspended above one of the most heavily traveled highways in the Midwest without impeding the regular flow of traffic.

They decided that the best way to accomplish their task would be to build the two supporting towers on either side of the highway and build the arch portion of the structure separately, at ground level, near the highway. When all of the elements were ready, the most complex segment of the project was implemented. First, using hydraulic jacks, the arch section of the building was lifted 22.5 feet in the air. Then, it was jacked horizontally on to heavy duty, self-propelled modular transporters that would carry the structure across the highway. The process of lifting the structure on to the transporters took eight days.

On August 16, 1999, a section of the interstate was closed and at 10:00pm, the transporters began their work of slowly moving the structure across the highway. By 6:00am on August 17, the arch segment was in place over concrete abutment walls that are 60 feet long, 25 feet tall and 2 feet thick.   The arch segment was welded into place and finishing work began. The Archway opened for visitors on June 9, 2000. Since that time, over 1.5 million visitors have toured the historic exhibit and have been inspired by the Archway spirit of adventure.

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