Tree Roots Cause Cracks

Homeowners along a shady Omaha street have been ordered by the city to replace their cracked and heaving sidewalks; however, two of them, who are retired and elderly, said it doesn’t make sense.

Ninety-year-old Maria Dresleris points to a large silver maple tree in the city right-of-way on south 40th, near Center Street. The roots undermine her sidewalk.

Maria said, “Why should I pay for something which doesn’t make sense because next year maybe it will be gone again.”

Maria and her 68-year-old neighbor, Marvin Biltoft, said the city should remove the two trees that cause their sidewalks to crack.

A city arborist inspected the trees and walks after a call from Fact Finders. He said the trees are healthy and will outlive any sidewalk, so the silver maples won’t be removed.

Omaha’s construction manager also sent an inspector out to look at the sidewalks. Tim O’Bryan said the city will work on a plan to install sidewalks that last and do not damage the roots; however, the homeowners are still responsible for the sidewalks. That means Maria and Marvin will have to pay about $600 each for new sidewalks.

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