Utility work to begin on Omaha streetcar route this week

The Omaha streetcar project is set to get underway this week, with utility work scheduled to start along the planned route.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:17 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - While mainline construction work on the Omaha streetcar project isn’t slated to begin until next summer, drivers will see impacts on the streetcar route starting this Wednesday.

Crews will begin ‘potholing’ along the route starting Wednesday in order to identify and mark the exact locations of the utilities that lie underground.

The potholing process involves drilling a 12-inch hole five feet into the ground to locate utility lines. Once the hole is surveyed, it is refilled and patched.

The goal of potholing is to prevent damage to utilities and help officials plan for their relocation when mainline construction begins.

The process also means temporary closures and lane restrictions for drivers.

The first section will begin Wednesday on Farnam Street from 20th to 30th streets.

Omaha Streetcar utility work map
Omaha Streetcar utility work map(WOWT 6 NEWS)

Monday afternoon, the Omaha Streetcar Authority also approved the streetcar operations and maintenance plan.

The plan lays out the route stops - all 22 of them - which will be located every two to three blocks along the route.

The plan includes service times, too.

  • Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-midnight
  • Friday, 6 a.m.-2 a.m.
  • Saturday, 7 a.m.-2 a.m.
  • Sunday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.

The plan approves that riding the streetcar will be free, and states that the vehicles won’t be wired to add fare collection equipment in the future, either.

The streetcar will take 40 minutes to complete a full route, including stop times, and will operate at a speed of 12.2 mph.

Omaha Streetcar Authority President Jay Noddle tells 6 News that as construction gets underway and plans continue to develop, the maintenance and operation plan will be updated constantly.

To keep community members informed, the OSA created a monthly newsletter with updates. You can sign up for the newsletter on their website.