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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
Amber Clement
Event Coordinator
aclement@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.

6 days ago

Kearney Archway
The Archway was honored, today, to host a visit from members of the crew of the USS Nebraska. Thanks for your service and for spending some time at the Archway! ... See MoreSee Less
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6 days ago

Kearney Archway
Stop at the Archway at I-80 Exit 275 in Kearney, NE, and share an epic adventure your whole family will enjoy. Click on the photos below to check out some of our 5-star reviews. Then, discover the Archway for yourself. We're open Mon-Sat 9-5 and Sun 12-5. We have plenty of pull-through parkingfor RVs an campers, too. ... See MoreSee Less
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UPCOMING EVENTS

Soda Fountain Sundae – Chris Sayre at Harmon Park

Date: July 10, 2021

Time: TBD

Location: Harmon Park

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The Archway teams up with the Kearney Artist Guild to present a special Soda Fountain Sundae performance at Art in the Park.  Join us in Kearney’s Harmon Park for this special presentation by veteran musician Chris Sayre.  His program, called Nebraska’s Musical Smorgasbord, celebrates the rich diversity of our state through the folk music of a variety of ethnic groups who call Nebraska home.

Join us for this special concert and see some lovely art at Art in the Park.

Soda Fountain Sundaes are presented with the support of Humanities Nebraska and sponsored by Diane and Michael Schnieders.

Soda Fountain Sundae – David Marsh

Date: July 11, 2021

Time: 2:30 pm

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Kearney favorite David Marsh returns to the Archway with his van full of instruments for this presentation of Music of the Plains.  Pioneers who came from a variety of cultures joined the journey west on the Great Platte River Road.  Hear their music and their stories in this exciting presentation.

David Marsh will amaze you with his musical range on a variety of instruments, playing songs that came from all over the world to shape America’s musical heritage.

After the performance, join us for root beer floats served from the Archway’s vintage soda fountain.  The performance is free. Donations for the floats are always appreciated.

Our flexible seating enables us to observe social distancing.  Face coverings are recommended but not required.

Soda Fountain Sundaes are presented with the support of Humanities Nebraska and sponsored by Diane and Michael Schnieders.

 

Art at the Arch – Painting with John Lillyman

Date: July 24, 2021

Time: 1:00 pm

Location: The Archway

2021-4-13 Lillyman values

Painters of all ages and abilities are invited to join local artist John Lillyman in exploring the value of “value.”  In this class, students will learn how to compose a landscape painting using shades of white, black, and grey.  It’s a basic technique in organizing the surface of the painting that will help both beginners and advanced artists to make better paintings.  The cost is $25/student and all the materials are included.  Click the link on the left to access the registration form.

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 Platte 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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