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City looks for more permanent solution as potholes start popping up

(WOWT)
Published: Jan. 2, 2020 at 4:10 PM CST
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Metro area drivers may notice potholes are beginning to pop up around the city.

On 144th street just north of west center road you can see potholes that had already been filled at one point --- popping out.

City crews work year-round on the city's potholes but filling them is just a part of the process. There is also maintenance that needs to occur and filling cracks to keep water from getting inside and freezing.

The city got behind in that part of the process last year due to weather.

"Last year was so bad that is literally all we did for months and months, we are usually done filling the backlog, the winter potholes we're normally done by early June…this year it went on into august there was just such a volume of those so when that happens you don't get to some of the other things that you normally start in July like the crack sealing and weeds in the median and things like that…it was all hands on deck for potholes even with outside contractors last year,” said Todd Pfitzer, City of Omaha Engineer.

Filling potholes is just a band-aide to a more permanent approach. Pfitzer says that resurfacing as many streets as possible would help.

A document shows that 62 resurfacing projects across the city were completed through the end of October.

Roads like West Maple and Military were rebuilt with state funds but with 5,000 lane miles in Omaha, that’s just the beginning.

In town hall meetings, Mayor Jean Stothert says Omaha faces a 34 million dollar annual shortfall on rebuilding streets.

Resurfaced streets last about 15 to 20 years but last even longer with routine maintenance. The mayor is looking at a bond issue and other funding methods without a tax increase.

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