(1) It shall be the duty of the State Highway Commission:
(a) To conduct studies and investigations and to act in an advisory capacity to the Director-State Engineer in the establishment of broad policies for carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the Department of Transportation;
(b) To advise the public regarding the policies, conditions, and activities of the department;
(c) To hold hearings, make investigations, studies, and inspections, and do all other things necessary to carry out the duties imposed upon it by law;
(d) To advance information and advice conducive to providing adequate and safe highways in the state;
(e) When called upon by the Governor, to advise him or her relative to the appointment of the Director-State Engineer; and
(f) To submit to the Governor its written advice regarding the feasibility of each relinquishment or abandonment of a fragment of a route, section of a route, or a route on the state highway system proposed by the department. The chairperson of the commission shall designate one or more of the members of the commission, prior to submitting such advice, to personally inspect the fragment of a route, section of a route, or a route to be relinquished or abandoned, who shall take into consideration the following factors: Cost to the state for maintenance, estimated cost to the state for future improvements, whether traffic service provided is primarily local or otherwise, whether other facilities provide comparable service, and the relationship to an integrated state highway system. The department shall furnish to the commission all needed assistance in making its inspection and study. If the commission, after making such inspection and study, shall fail to reach a decision as to whether or not the fragment of a route, section of a route, or a route should be relinquished or abandoned, it may hold a public hearing on such proposed relinquishment or abandonment. The commission shall give a written notice of the time and place of such hearing, not less than two weeks prior to the time of the hearing, to the political or governmental subdivisions or public corporations wherein such portion of the state highway system is proposed to be relinquished or abandoned. The commission shall submit to the Governor, within two weeks after such hearing, its written advice upon such proposed relinquishment or abandonment.
(2) All funds rendered available by law to the department, including funds already collected for such purposes, may be used by the State Highway Commission in administering and effecting such purposes, to be paid upon approval by the Director-State Engineer.
(3) All data and information of the department shall be available to the State Highway Commission.
(4) The State Highway Commission may issue bonds under the Nebraska Highway Bond Act.