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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.

2 days ago

Kearney Archway

We had so much fun with Archie's Adventure Camps at the Archway last school year, we decided to do them again! This year we are teaming up with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the UNL 4-H Extension Service to develop fun days full of special activities when Kearney Public Schools have scheduled days off. Learn more and register for Archie's Adventure Camps at archway.org/events/ ... See MoreSee Less

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Art at the Arch

Date: September 15, 2019

Time: 2:00pm - 4:30pm

Art at the Arch

Join us for an enjoyable afternoon of painting at the Archway with the instructors from the Rustic Patch in Kearney.  We’ll help you create a fabulous door hanger to help you welcome guests to you home during the fall season.

The cost is $50.  All materials and instruction are included.  No painting experience is necessary.  Please register by September 11.

Archie’s Adventure Camp

Start date: September 25, 2019

End date: September 27, 2019

Time: 8:00am - 3:00pm

Archie’s Adventure Camp

Join us for learning fun while school is out!  The Archway, in partnership with the UNL Extension Office and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission presents Archie’s Adventure Camps on days when Kearney Public Schools have scheduled days off.

During the camp, we’ll explore the many ways to enjoy the outdoors.  We’ll learn about camping, outdoor recreation and wildlife that lives right here in Nebraska.  When it’s cold outside, we’ll bring the outdoors inside.

Archie’s Adventure Camps are designed for students in grades K-5.  Lunch and snacks are provided.  The cost for all three days is just $75.  Sign up for multiple camps and receive a special discount.  For more information, call the Archway at (308) 237-1000.

Archie’s Adventure Camp

Date: October 18, 2019

Time: 8:00am - 3:00pm

Archie’s Adventure Camp

Join us for learning fun while school is out!  The Archway, in partnership with the UNL Extension Office and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission presents Archie’s Adventure Camps on days when Kearney Public Schools have scheduled days off.

During the camp, we’ll play games, learn crafts, and explore the many ways to enjoy the outdoors. When it’s cold outside, we’ll bring the outdoors inside.

Archie’s Adventure Camps are designed for students in grades K-5.  Lunch and snacks are provided.  The cost for the day is $30.  Sign up for multiple camps and receive a special discount.  For more information, call the Archway at (308) 237-1000.

Halloween Fest

Date: October 27, 2019

Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Halloween Fest

Join us for a family-friendly afternoon packed with Halloween fun.  Paint a funny face on a pumpkin, conquer the haunted Trail Blaze Maze, race through the spooky obstacle course, try your hand at the creepy carnival games and enjoy Trunk or Treat with members of First Baptist Church.

The cost is $5/person. No pre-registration is required and you can purchase tickets in advance at the Archway or First Baptist Church.

Soda Fountain Sundae

Date: November 10, 2019

Time: 2:30pm

Soda Fountain Sundae

Join us for some great, old-fashioned barbershop harmony when the Archway welcomes the Habitat for Harmony Quartet for Soda Fountain Sundae.

Following the performance, join us for root beer floats served from our vintage soda fountain.  Admission to the performance is free.  Donations for root beer floats are welcome.

Archie’s Adventure Camp

Date: November 13, 2019

Time: 8:00am - 3:00pm

Archie’s Adventure Camp

Join us for learning fun while school is out!  The Archway, in partnership with the UNL Extension Office and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission presents Archie’s Adventure Camps on days when Kearney Public Schools have scheduled days off.

During the camp, we’ll play games and explore the many ways to enjoy the outdoors.  We’ll learn about camping, outdoor recreation and wildlife that lives right here in Nebraska.  When it’s cold outside, we’ll bring the outdoors inside.

Archie’s Adventure Camps are designed for students in grades K-5.  Lunch and snacks are provided.  The cost is $30.  Sign up for multiple camps and receive a special discount.  For information, call the Archway at (308) 237-1000.

Archie’s Adventure Camp

Date: December 11, 2019

Time: 8:00am - 3:00pm

Archie’s Adventure Camp

Join us for learning fun while school is out!  The Archway, in partnership with the UNL Extension Office and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission presents Archie’s Adventure Camps on days when Kearney Public Schools have scheduled days off.

During the camp, we’ll learn crafts, play games, and explore the many ways to enjoy the outdoors.  We’ll learn about camping, outdoor recreation and wildlife that lives right here in Nebraska.  When it’s cold outside, we’ll bring the outdoors inside.

Archie’s Adventure Camps are designed for students in grades K-5.  Lunch and snacks are provided.  The cost is $30.  Sign up for multiple camps and receive a special discount.  For information, call the Archway at (308) 237-1000.

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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