Lincoln makes great progress in road repair

Posted by: Marlenia Thornton

Lincoln drivers are riding much smoother these days.

The city said it has made great strides in street repairs over the past few years.

Nearly 18 miles of main roads and about 80 neighborhood blocks were fixed in 2016.

Lincoln is also getting ahead of its pothole problem with fewer complaints this year.

Some drivers said they notice the difference.

"I think they’ve been staying on it more. I’ve honestly haven’t run into as much potholes as I did in previous years,”  Lincoln Driver Thuy Dinh said.

There were about 7000 potholes around this time in 2016.

This year, we’ve seen 1, 600 so far.

Public works credits the improvements to innovation including different equipment and repair materials.

Lincoln has four new pothole patching trucks, which have been in use since last May.

Now, the work of an entire crew can be done by just one person.

"It would serve as a force multiplier empowering crews to stay on top pothole repairs in less time using fewer resources,” Lincoln Public Works and Utilities Director Miki Esposito said.

Mayor Chris Beutler said great investment in street funding helped the change.

It has increased almost 60 percent since 2009 thanks to sources like fuel and wheel taxes.

It was around $35 million back then and currently is about $60 million.

Overall, 90 miles of main streets and more than 630 residential ones have improved since 2009.

"We’re finding innovative ways to get the most out of every dollar,” Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler said.

The city said  the next step is taking more preventative  than corrective actions.