City Workers Carrying A Hefty Workload

Working on any road can be a dangerous job -- especially if there's traffic and streets are snow covered or slick.

With two major snow storms and pothole season coming early -- Omaha City Workers have put in a lot of work and hours lately.

“It's unprecedented...i believe they've been working since the first week in December 12 straight, seven days a week non-stop,” President of Local 251 Kevin Brown said.

It's been a bumpy road for the roughly 250 city workers this winter.

They plow snow covered streets and seemingly the next day are filling potholes in those same streets.

“This year they're probably worse than they've been in a number of years past due to the extreme cold and the freezing and the thawing cycle,” Brown said. “There's just tons of chuck holes out there.”

Brown represents Omaha's civilian city employees.

He said workers are doing more with less.

The city has grown over the years but the number of employees working our streets has not.

“When you are out on the streets working it just gets to be dangerous especially if you are fatigued,” Brown said.

Theirs is a job without much recognition.

But their efforts are noticed.

“On the main roads, yeah, it was pretty good...getting around my neighborhood...really hard to do,” Amanda Pemble said.

“The two big snows...we don't usually have but one big one right after the other one so that probably put them behind too and gave them a lot of extra work,” Johnnie Hawkins said.

“The guys that are really out doing the work, what can they do? The front office says you do it this way not that way,” Jack Moskovitz said. “I think they're doing a good job...the best they can.”

Their work doesn't end when darkness falls.

One city worker was injured near 168th and Boyd early Saturday morning after the bobcat he was operating was struck by an SUV.

The unidentified worker was inside a barricaded area when he was hit.

Fortunately, he was not seriously hurt.

“I'm surprised there hasn't been more just because of the number of hours working, the number of people out on the street is more than it typically is,” Brown said.

Amanda Pemble says city workers are doing a job that benefits us all.
“They're trying to do their thing, so try and stay away,” she said.

The driver of the SUV that hit the city worker is 21-year-old David Haith of Omaha.

He was cited for driving under the influence.

The union president said he is working with the city to give employees at least one day off each week.

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