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Longer hours and more workers, how the city plans to start tackling potholes next week

Posted: 6:18 PM, Mar 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-11 23:22:31Z
Longer hours and more workers, how the city plans to start tackling potholes next week

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — "I hit it about a week ago and I thought it blew out my tire."

When Angie Carnazzo drove on a bridge around 120th and Q streets, potholes damaged the alignment on her Honda Civic. Add that to the cost of the damaged muffler and she's looking at a bill of $700 in repairs.

"That hit at a bad time and I'm not prepared to cough that up," Carnazzo said.

At 144th and Center, the city closed the southbound lanes to keep the crumbled road from damaging other cars. Some still have to pass through to get to businesses.

City officials say patching up Omaha's pothole problem has all been weather permitting. Mayor Jean Stothert says help is on the way.

"We've lost time with the snow, we've lost time with the rain, but we will try to catch up," Mayor Stothert said.

At a press conference with the mayor, city street engineer and public works director, they explained crews will begin using hot asphalt next Monday. The city usually has to wait until April for that material. Crews already working will also get reinforcements.

"Currently we have nine crews out on the street," Mayor Stothert said. "They are starting this week working from 3 a.m. until 8:30 p.m."

The city says nine additional contracted workers will patch up the streets.

As Carnazzo assess the damage the street's done to her car, she's asked the city where the money for the wheel and state gas tax is going.

The mayor answered that Monday.

"Every penny of the wheel and state gas tax goes to road or road-related expenses," Mayor Stothert said. "Every penny of it."

Carnazzo says the problem has become worse since Stothert's reelection.

The city is asking for patience and good weather. Mayor Stothert says she does not want another tax increase, which means the roads may not get to where we want them to be.

"We have done an assessment on all our streets in Omaha and if we got them up where we wanted to be to today's standards, it could cost $900 million," Mayor Stothert said. "No, I don't have $900 million in the budget."