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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.

3 days ago

Kearney Archway

This year, enjoy the Sandhill Crane migration and discover everything that Central Nebraska has to offer. The one-of-a-kind historical exhibit at the Archway at I-80 Exit 275 in Kearney brings the story of the building of America to life. Check the EVENTS tab on our website for special Crane Season Events. Click archway.org/events/ ... See MoreSee Less

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4 days ago

Kearney Archway

Get creative in the New Year! Please register before noon on Friday, January 17 to reserve your place at Kellie's Watercolor Workshop. On Sunday, January 19, young artists, aged 8-13 years, are invited to spend the afternoon discovering their creative side with watercolor artist Kellie Jo Risk. Students will learn basic watercolor techniques while they are guided in completing paintings on prairie landscape and wildlife themes. No previous experience is needed and all the materials will be provided by the Archway. The cost of the workshop is $25 per student. For information, call the Archway at (308) 237-1000 or visit archway.org/events/ ... See MoreSee Less

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Art at the Arch – Watercolor for Kids with Kellie

Date: January 19, 2020

Time: 2:00pm- 4:00pm

Black wiener dog

Start the New Year creatively!  Young artists, aged 8-13, years are invited to spend the afternoon at this special workshop discovering their creative side with watercolor artist Kellie Jo Risk. Students will learn basic watercolor techniques while they are guided in completing paintings on prairie landscape and wildlife themes.

Instructor Kellie Jo Risk has a Master’s Degree in Art Education and was an art professor at the University of Nebraska Kearney for over 20 years. No previous experience is needed and all the materials will be provided by the Archway.  The cost of the workshop is $25 per student.  For information, call the Archway at (308) 237-1000.  You can register for the workshop online by clicking on the link at the left.

Archie’s Adventure Camp

Date: January 20, 2020

Time: 8:00am - 3:00pm

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In January, Archie’s Adventure Camp is all about building. Participants will build friendships, confidence, and skill by working on activities and experiments based on STEM models in engineering.  We’ll work together to build model bridges and houses and learn how to make them stronger.  We’ll learn about the laws of gravity and energy when we build a roller coaster.  We’ll even construct our own catapults.  And we’ll have lots of fun while we’re at it.  Join us for Archie’s Adventure Camp on Monday, January 20 from 8:00am – 3:00pm at the Archway.  The cost is $30/student.  Snacks and lunch are included.  For more information, call the Archway at (308) 237-1000.  Register online by clicking the link at left.

Archway Crane Day

Date: March 18, 2020

Time: 8:00am - 8:00pm

Crane Photo 1

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.

Archway Crane Day

Date: March 19, 2020

Time: 8:00am - 8:00pm

Crane Photo 1

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.

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.