Those living near an Omaha elementary school have reason to worry about the safety of children walking to and from class. It's a hazard that has the city saying oops.
Indian Hill students and parents didn't just stumble across a missing sidewalk. “Absolutely, it's been too long. “They've been stepping down and around the gaps near 32nd and U streets for up to five months. “Little kids, first-graders, trying to walk home, we have a lack of sidewalk and it's just not safe for them,” said parent Megan Manier.
Mike Dannevik remembers in December when MUD installed a new gas line to his house, tearing out a section of the sidewalk to get there. He said there have been plenty of nice days to fill in the gaps. “Just unbelievable, it’s been five months. I mean who actually goes this long without doing anything?”
Sidewalk sections are missing in a six-square area of this south Omaha neighborhood. Many of the sidewalk gaps have warning barricades, but not all. There's no indication of a suddenly a drop-off in other spots.
MUD is running new gas lines to 180 homes and sent notice for the city to replace sidewalk sections up to six months ago, but those orders fell through the cracks. “We had a procedure in place that fell by the wayside and we're going back and looking at that now,” said Scott McIntyre with Omaha Public Works.
By next Tuesday, the city will start to pour concrete in sidewalk cuts left open too long. “Don't trip on the two-by-fours on the side, okay?” Dannevik told his daughter.
The city's barricade contractor will be contacted to make sure all the sidewalk cutouts are well marked. MUD is using the city to fill the gaps. The half-million dollar gas line replacement project should be done this summer.