OMAHA — A North Omaha streetscape project kicked off Friday with about $9 million to help boost the area’s main commercial corridor, a historically redlined and disinvested part of the city.
Improvements planned along the North 24th Street business improvement district, a 2.3-mile stretch from about Meredith Avenue to Cuming Street, call for enhanced sidewalks, traffic, landscaping, parking and transportation options.
LaVonya Goodwin, executive director of the nonprofit North 24th Street BID, called the start of the first phase of a larger $53 million plan “monumental.”
“It is going to take the community’s engagement and the continual support of our elected officials to fully fund and implement this transformative project that will catalyze the restoration of North 24th Street to a thriving destination,” said Goodwin, of Goodwin’s Spencer Street Barbershop.
A statement outlined the first wave of funds. U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb, has secured $7 million in federal appropriations. The City of Omaha is to contribute $1.2 million. The Metropolitan Area Planning Agency announced $750,000 from a street safety grant fund through the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment Act.
Bacon, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and MAPA’s Mike Helgerson were at an event announcing the funding.
“Building up the North 24th Street corridor will act as a catalyst for economic and cultural renewal — an initiative with the power to transform the community and the lives of the people,” said Bacon.
“North 24th Street is building momentum again, evolving into a place of innovation, entrepreneurship, and urban living,” Stothert said in a statement.
The plan, Goodwin said, is expected to lure more businesses and patrons to the area. Special attention is to go to widen sidewalks within the North 24th and Lake Streets Historic District to encourage foot traffic.