The city plans 17 new street improvement projects in the coming year using revenue from the quarter-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2019, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced Thursday.
They will include 14 improvements to existing streets and three new projects in northeast Lincoln, Air Park, and on a portion of Rokeby Road in south Lincoln.
In the first two years, the city has either begun or completed 25 projects using sales tax revenue, a program dubbed Lincoln on the Move, which officials say allows the city to spend 25% more on street projects.
Gaylor Baird said it’s clear the program is making a difference.
“Our streets are an important part of our city’s infrastructure, as they provide a safe way to get to work, to school, to the grocery store, to the big game or big concert,” she said.
The city began collecting sales tax in October 2019, started the first projects in the spring of 2020, and will continue collecting the sales tax until September of 2025.
The city collected $13.8 million the first year and an estimated $13 million the second year. Officials estimate investing a total of $78 million over the six years of the program, Gaylor Baird said.
The Lincoln Transportation and Utilities budget includes $61 million in its capital improvement program for street projects in 2021-22, to which sales tax revenue from the Lincoln on the Move program contributes about $13 million. A one-time highway allocation bond contributed about $15 million this year.
The total number of projects completed in a year depends on the size of the projects, LTU officials said.
The Lincoln on the Move program allocates 73.5% of the quarter-cent sales tax to existing street improvements; 25% to new street construction and 1.5% to the Railroad Transportation Safety District’s project to build an overpass at 33rd Street and Cornhusker Highway, replacing railroad crossings at 33rd and Cornhusker and 35th and Adams streets. City officials estimate sales tax revenue will contribute about $1.7 million toward the 33rd and Cornhusker project.
The projects completed in the first two years of Lincoln on the Move included three new projects in east and south Lincoln: A Street from 89th to 93rd streets; Rokeby Road from Friedman Street to 84th Street; and Van Dorn Street from 84th to 91st streets.
Street improvement plans on tap for the coming year include rehabbing streets in the Belmont, Clinton, College View, Near South, Park Manor, Piedmont and Witherbee neighborhoods, as well as projects on streets around Kahoa Elementary School and Lincoln High, on 14th Street (from Adams to Superior), 23rd and Potter streets, Randolph Street (from 40th to 56th), 84th Street (from Oakdale Avenue to Elizabeth Drive), and Westgate Boulevard and West Saunders Avenue.
New projects include a roundabout at 104th and Holdrege streets, near the elementary school being built in Waterford Estates; West Holdrege in Air Park from Northwest 48th Street to Chitwood Lane; and Rokeby Road from 40th Street to Snapdragon Road.
The city has identified an additional 11 projects for coming years, said LTU Director Liz Elliott.
A 14-member community advisory committee of community members make recommendations on what street projects to undertake with the sales tax revenue.