Residents not satisfied with work done on 168th Street project

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Traffic is flowing again after a major street project in West Omaha, but some homeowners along the way feel left behind. 6 On Your Side asked the city’s construction engineer to take a look.

After Omaha Construction Engineer Mike Kleffner looked at this side-street pavement near 168th and Blondo streets, he told the contractor to do it again.

“This is to ensure taxpayers are getting their dollars’ worth out of the project," he said.

But nearby homeowners say they’re taxpayers, too.

"I don’t think anybody would be satisfied with that," said resident Alan Schumacher, who sees a gap in the retaining wall, the lack of backfill, his sprinkler cutoff, and fence still down.

“They got the road open, and they think that appeased everybody," Schumacher said. "So the people that have this kind of issue going on are just sitting and waiting.”

Omaha’s construction engineer understands the impatience building with homeowners affected by the project.

"We still have our inspectors out here, and we’re still on walk-throughs on the project, so we’re not even close to walking away yet," Kleffner said.

Inspectors are marking hazards and a troublesome sidewalk panel pointed out by 6 On Your Side is being replaced.

A crack has developed in some concrete poured in the area just a few weeks ago, and the homeowner is concerned: What happens if the city signs off on the project and this gets worse?

The city has a two-year warranty on concrete.

"We'll address it and bring the contractor back out and say this is an issue," Kleffner said.

But homeowners say overgrowth on the project side should be addressed now.

"It just gives the whole area a bad impression," resident Roxanne Rusco said.

Kleffner said it will be addressed.

"All these weeds will come out, and they’ll actually be grass," he said.

The contractor will have to sweat the small stuff, but big-ticket items must be handled first.

"Be patient with us," Kleffner said.

Homeowners say in the completion of the street project, they don’t want to be last.

Before the contractor leaves the 168th street project, the city will have two more walk-throughs and corrections made where needed. After that, there will be more inspections while the work is under its two-year warranty.