Stretch of road leaves Omaha neighborhood in a rut

A hole in the middle of one South Omaha street left neighbors living on the two-block stretch no choice but to cut through their neighbors' yards.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:22 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Where the pavement ends, the rubber leaves the road as drivers avoid a mud hole on a rough two-block stretch of South 45th Street in Omaha.

“One [driver], she, actually what she did is she drove this way and she went all the way over here, and then she went out over there,” said Judy Blomenkamp.

Blomenkamp is one of three homeowners along the substandard street who says maintenance of it has been in a rut.

“I’d like them to fix the hole so they don’t come into my property.”

Next door, Chris McCart says leaving home in either direction can be nerve-wracking.

“My car bottoms out there, so it can do damage to my car,” McCart said.

So she avoids the worse way out and takes the path most traveled -- over her neighbor’s grass.

“I don’t want to go in her yard,” McCart said. “She’s a nice lady, but I don’t really have a choice. I went in the hole a little too much the other day and thought I was going to be stuck.”

The neighbors say filling the hole and smoothing out the ruts are the best solutions, and not just for protecting their yard -- but taxpayer property.

Drivers avoiding that hole aren’t just trespassing on Judy’s yard. You can see tires have scraped up against a manhole and there’s a lip more than three inches high.

6 On Your Side contacted city sewer maintenance, and within a couple of hours, a supervisor arrived to find no damage and put in a work order for a protective concrete ring around the manhole.

“If we know about them we’ll prioritize them,” said Steve Andersen with Omaha Public Works. “This one we hadn’t received a call on it yet, so we appreciate the call and we’ll get it taken care of.”

And before wet weather would make it a deeper mudbath for vehicles -- a city crew arrived to fill in the hole not long after 6 News contacted Omaha street maintenance.

After months of precarious driving, the residents here have a smooth and safer way to come and go from their homes.

Homeowners tell 6 News a city crew worked into the night dumping truckloads of material and smoothing it out. They can use the two-block stretch in both directions -- even after tomorrow’s expected rain and snow.