Mayor Jean Stothert and the Greater Omaha Chamber Urban Core Committee released a proposal for a 3-mile-long streetcar system at a January 26 press conference.
In an attempt to tackle the city’s parking crisis, using the Federal Infrastructure Bill, the City of Omaha hopes to have the streetcar operational by 2026. The city hopes to not only make commuting residents of the city who live or work downtown, but also improving the area for Omaha visitors, helping to alleviate parking issues.
“The development that has resulted from our new transit-focused development program demonstrates that much greater investment along the tram route will bring dynamic and sustained development to our rapidly changing city,” said the Mayor Stothert.
The proposal has an expected cost of $306 million, which includes a 35% contingency. The tram would be free for all users. According to the press release, the construction, maintenance and operation of the tramway would not lead to an increase in the rate of property tax or sales tax.
“The continued development we see around the medical center will only accelerate with the addition of the light rail road adjoining our campus,” said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, who attended to the mayor’s press release. “This is another important step in keeping UNMC and Nebraska Medicine attractive and making the medical center area an area where professionals and families will live, work and play for decades to come. . This is particularly important as it will connect all the facilities between the medical center and the riverside. »
In plans released by the city, the streetcar would run from Cass to Farnam Street along 10th Street. It will take Farnam Street West to 42nd Street and back to 10th Street along Harney Street.
“This will increase the level of new development along the route, projected at $3 billion over the next 15 years and $5 billion in 30 years,” the city of Omaha said.
In addition to the streetcar system, Mayor Stothert’s announcement coincided with the announcement of a new Mutuelle d’Omaha headquarters to be built at the current location of the public library.
Mutual of Omaha is an insurance agency that has called Omaha home since 1909. It was founded by Dr. CC Criss, a medical student at Creighton University, and his wife, Mabel Criss.
“The skyline of the city will be changed forever,” Mayor Stothert said of the recently released plans for the headquarters, comparing it to the First National tower located downtown.