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Neighbors feel forgotten as Omaha city project falls through cracks

WOWT Live at 10
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A 6 News investigation into an Omaha street project that went untouched for weeks. The reason may surprise you.

For almost a month, Bill Tokosh has been unable to use his driveway because a street repair project fell through the cracks.

“In my mind, this has taken too long. There have been plenty of nice days I’d say here lately. Nothing should have stopped them,” said Tokosh.

The delay is not weather-related. After plumbers finished repairing a private line the city is supposed to come in and repave the street. but the two neighbors with blocked drives have been left hanging.

“So my car is all the way down there it’s behind this white car you can’t see but it’s the red car down there. So how far? Not too far but it’s still a bit of a walk,” said Axel Cervantes.

Across the street, Bill uses a neighbor’s alley drive but going on four weeks the torn-up street has been more than an inconvenience.

“It is undermined you can see underneath the road,” said Tokosh.

This huge concrete slab is undermined by about 15 feet and even though Oak Street is blocked off you can see why neighbors are concerned. That’s not going to keep out a curious kid.

Axel says adults are also at risk.

”If they are walking over by here and they’re not too careful or cautious they could potentially fall over and that could cause some damage, especially during the night it’s pretty hard to see it,” said Cervantes.

Omaha’s sewer maintenance supervisor thanks 6 News for alerting him to the issue.

While waiting on plumbers to finish he says a work order sent to the street division got lost in the system. So, a foreman who would track the project couldn’t see paving Oak Street on the to-do list.

“No longer forgotten here, we got some work going on,” said Tokosh.

A day after contacting public works a large city crew started to pave the way for making Oak strong again.

“It’ll be safer, take out the street that’s got the big cavity underneath it,” said Tokosh.

After waiting and wondering for a month, Bill will soon be pulling back into his driveway.

The city sewer maintenance supervisor says the work order history on the project will be reviewed to determine how it dropped out of sight in the system.

That should improve the work management program so the problem won’t happen again.

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