Omaha Mayor recommends $200 million bond for street improvements

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- A $200 million bond earmarked for street improvements could be on the ballot for Omaha voters in May, Mayor Jean Stothert said in a press conference Thursday morning.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert (Source: WOWT)

Potholes are a massive problem in the city, and the city streets have been under-funded for half a century, according to the mayor.

The bond would allow for $75 million in repairs to bring roads up to industry standards; and 250 miles of roads per year.

If approved by City Council, the bond will go on the May 12 ballot. If it passes, Phase One could start this year.

Stothert said the bond will cost each property owner about $35 per $100,000 value annually. It would only cover street improvements like resurfacing and maintenance and does not include funds for other transportation projects like ORBT or the streetcar, she said.

The funds could help bring about other sorts of street improvements, however.

"You can't put a bike lane on a street full of potholes," she said.

The mayor's announcement alongside Public Works and city finance was presented as the next step in Omaha's "Road Map to Better Streets" initiative. The city held town halls last summer on the program, the city's first long-term road maintenance and rehabilitation plan.

The first reading of the proposed ordinance will be at Tuesday's City Council meeting, the mayor said. The public hearing will be on Feb. 4, with the final reading and vote planned for Feb. 11.

This is a developing story. Stay with 6 News for updates.