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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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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
Jill Epley
Event Coordinator
Sharmond R. Loeffler
Assistant Director
Mark Foradori
Marketing Coordinator

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 | with any questions.

22 hours ago

Kearney Archway

Join the Food Fight! Now, through December 31, please bring donations of non-perishable food to the Archway and help to care for our neighbors in need. All donations are distributed to local food pantries. This year, the need is greater than ever. Drop off your donation in the Archway lobby during our regular hours Mon-Sat 9-5 and Sun 12-5. ... See MoreSee Less

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2 days ago

Kearney Archway

Join us on the California Gold Rush journey of Joseph Gainsborough Bruff. He left Washington D.C. with 60 men on April 2 1849 to seek their fortunes in California. While he didn't strike it rich, he provided historians with a virtual goldmine of information about life on the trail. ... See MoreSee Less

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12 Days of Quarantined Christmas Challenge

Start date: December 1, 2020

End date: December 31, 2020


We’ll all be celebrating Christmas a little differently this year.  Here is a great way to safely share the holiday with your household and with the community.  Join the Archway in celebrating the 12 Days of Quarantined Christmas Challenge.

Do some holiday baking.  Cut out paper snowflakes. Watch a holiday movie together.  Send in pictures of your household’s holiday activities for the chance to win prizes donated by local Kearney merchants.

Step 1. Download the full description by clicking here: Archway -12 Days of Christmas

Step 2. Click the link at the lower-left of this post to register for activity supplies and prizes by December 13.

Step 3. Pick up your kit of activity supplies at the Archway. They are available on December 1-14.

Step 3.  Have fun, post pictures of your holiday activities, and win prizes.

Call the Archway at (308) 237-1000 for more information.

Tri-City Food Fight

Start date: December 2, 2020

End date: December 31, 2020

2019-12-13 Tri-City Food Fight – Archway

The holidays are “a time when want is keenly felt and abundance rejoices, ” observed Charles Dickens.

Please make a donation to help brighten the holidays for everyone in the Kearney area this year when you participate in the Tri-City Food Fight. It’s the annual competition between the Archway, the Stuhr Museum in Grand Island, and the Hastings Museum to see which organization can collect the most in donations for area food banks.

Kearney and the Archway won last year’s Food Fight when we and our community partners collected more than 5,400 pounds of food. The total for all three organizations topped 12,000 pounds!

Please help us spread the word to area residents and businesses, make a generous donation, and help us respond to the current need by making this the best Food Fight year ever!

Make your donation at the Archway anytime during our regular business hours.


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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