People who love public infrastructure projects: I’ve got you covered. http://t.co/Lj2hYyGsXQ
— Erin Golden (@golden_erin) August 5, 2013
Check out the entire Capital Improvement Program 2014-2019 plan here.
If you hang out around a stretch of historic warehouses-turned offices in north downtown, you can apparently experience something similar to an earthquake.
Business and building owners along a stretch of Nicholas Street, just north of TD Ameritrade Park, are fed up with big trucks roaring past, headed for the Interstate from industries in north Omaha.
It’s a tricky problem for the city, which has encouraged development around the stadium and the CenturyLink Center, but also wants to see companies thrive a few blocks to the north. So far, there’s no great solution.
About $6.4 million of state money will speed up existing plans to repair and maintain some Omaha-area roads, Gov. Dave Heineman and Mayor Jean Stothert announced Tuesday.
Stothert and Heineman’s joint appearance came as the Stothert administration works on its proposed 2014 budget and fields ongoing citizen complaints about local road conditions. The mayor said she would propose adding about $750,000 to next year’s road repair and maintenance budget.
Tuesday’s press conference also underscored Stothert’s efforts to work closer with a Republican governor and the Republican majority in the state’s unicameral legislature.
“I always had a good relationship with Mayor (Mike) Fahey,” Heineman told reporters. “It was a little bit more difficult with Mayor (Jim) Suttle, and Mayor Stothert has said she wants to have a good partnership. We’ve talked about that numerous times and you’re going to see us again more often.”
For now, the job of writing parking tickets, running parking garages and emptying coins from meters belongs to city employees.
But by September, at least some of those operations will likely be in the hands of a private company. The city has sent out a request for proposals from companies that would like to manage the 4,199 parking spaces in seven city garages and 483 spaces in five surface lots. Parking manager Ken Smith said the city hopes to have a company in place by September.
Companies can also offer bids for handling on-street parking enforcement, though Smith said he’s not sure if the city will move in that direction.
The city’s major sewer system overhaul has prompted planning for something else: a historic boulevard system that dates to the late 1880s.
There’s no money for it yet, but there is a lengthy master plan that envisions mending boulevard connections lost to development and highway construction, improved lighting and landscaping and signs that would help link the entire system.
The idea, according to park planner Pat Slaven, is to get back to the vision of famed landscape architect Horace Cleveland. He designed the system to provide a seamless connection of green spaces between the city’s parks.
The tree battle of Dundee continues.
Columnist Matthew Hansen has a look today at the latest in the neighborhood-versus-city tension brewing over trees being taken out along and around Underwood Avenue.
The city is removing the trees in preparation for a $2.5 million renovation of the Dundee business district, though as Hansen notes, officials have also said the trees have to go because of utility work. Residents didn’t seem to put up much of a fight in a series of meetings the city held to discuss the work. Now, however, they’re pushing back.
The eastern entrance to Benson’s main stretch of businesses is getting a face lift.
Mayor Jim Suttle, City Councilman Pete Festersen and a handful of neighborhood leaders met Monday to mark the start of construction near the intersection of North 58th Street and Northwest Radial Highway. The $560,000 project will include changes to the sometimes-dangerous intersection, new landscaping and a new sign and monument.
A similar project at the other end of Benson’s business district is scheduled to start next year. Traffic will be rerouted around the east end of Benson during construction, which is expected to wrap up in July.
Omaha’s new credit card-accepting parking meters have arrived.
The first 400 of the 1,000 new meters went up Tuesday around the Old Market and near the city and county offices a few blocks west. Another 600 are expected to arrive in mid-May and will replace the old, coin-only meters on streets between those two areas. In total, the project will cost $492,000.
The new, solar-powered meters will take coins or cards (with a minimum of a $1 charge for the card option) and offer the city the ability to get real-time information about which meters are in use or out of order. Ken Smith, the city’s parking manager, says that information will help guide future decisions about parking changes in the city.
You might have noticed the colorful signs going up around downtown, pointing visitors toward the area’s big attractions. Hopefully you didn’t follow this one to Creighton University — which isn’t, as it turns out, somewhere in the middle of the Missouri River.
RDG Planning & Design, the firm that helped design the Downtown Omaha Wayfinding Project with the City of Omaha and the Downtown Improvement District, is fixing the incorrect sign at 13th Street and Capitol Avenue.
“We have 44 different pole locations and about 23 sign faces. We have 30 poles installed, and this is only the second problem. That’s not doing too bad,” said John Sova, principal at RDG.
So this is good news*. Omaha snow removal crews are “planning for the worst,” said Scott McIntyre, the city’s street maintenance engineer.
“This really has the potential to be a pretty significant snowfall,” McIntyre said of this week’s expected storm. “It’s going to be a difficult snow operation to stay on top of.”
The city will also declare a snow emergency late Thursday/Friday, meaning new parking regulations will take effect.