Omaha potholes: Why does it seem to take so long to patch the streets?

Posted at 5:57 PM, Feb 28, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — If you want to report a pothole go here: You'll click on "submit a new report" and then click "pothole."

On Monday, 3 News Now reported on Omaha's pothole problem. A few things stood out in an interview with Austin Rowser, Omaha's assistant director of public works.

One of Rowser’s comments on Monday was about the city using contractors.

“I would, I would always like to have a contractor for peak seasons that can come in and help, too, and just kind of shave some of that peak off. Unfortunately, we haven't had that contract in a few years. I think it would be beneficial to the city, but we're not in that position currently,” he said.

On Tuesday, Rowser answered some follow-up questions.

"It's not a funding issue. It has more to do with timing. We never know how severe a pothole season will be when it's time to solicit bids for a contract,” he said. "By the time we could get a contract through this season, we will have a handle on the situation."

The last year the city had a contract to deal with potholes was 2019.

Tuesday, Rowser also told Reporter Aaron Hegarty that the average time to repair a pothole is five to seven calendar days.

That caught the attention of Anchor Mary Nelson because seven days ago she called the city about potholes just south of Center Street on Oak View Drive.

On Tuesday there was no change when a 3 News Now crew visited the area. A semi, bus and lots of cars hit the cluster of potholes; some were sizeable. It looked just as bad in drone footage.

Samuel Hunter works nearby.

“It's pretty bad. Most of the time, we're spending the time avoiding it by swerving out of the way. Sometimes, they're really out of nowhere. They also cause a bottleneck with traffic because you'll have a car in front of you that has to swerve to avoid it and then you're behind them and so it becomes rather frustrating to live in a town where we can hardly get this taken care of like we're supposed to,” Hunter said.

On there are several reports of potholes in the neighborhood, but only one for the month of February and not for the day Mary Nelson called.

City official talks potholes

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.