Frequently Asked Questions
What are some ways to cope through a construction project that affects my business?
Keeping in touch with project leadership, collaborating with neighbor businesses and aggressively communicating with your customers will help your business survive, and even thrive, through construction.
What is the most effective way to communicate my concerns during a construction project?
Your best avenue for communicating your concerns is to speak with the project leadership, usually the project manager or project inspector. They are responsible for overall project management, are keenly familiar with daily construction activities, and can respond to your questions and concerns. Project leadership and business operators who establish two-way communication are more aware of each other's concerns and constraints, and each can make better-informed decisions.
It helps to be aware of some of the basic constraints project leaders are under when they plan and carry out a construction project. Safety to construction workers and the public is the overriding factor in making decisions on construction activities. Budget, schedule and impacts to motorists, pedestrians and all affected businesses are other factors that project leaders must weigh when they try to address individual concerns.
What can I expect during construction?
You could experience the following temporary inconveniences during construction:
- Dust, dirt and mud.
- Changes in access to your business.
- Heavy equipment and noise.
- Utility service interruptions.
These temporary inconveniences literally pave the way for a better system of roads and utilities to serve Lincoln's citizens.
Will I be compensated for property impacts?
The City follows federal, state and local laws in compensating property owners and tenants for property impacts and relocation costs. Common examples of property impacts include the need for additional land (right-of-way) to make a street wider or the need for temporary access on private property during construction (easement). More information is available on the Urban Development Department's Housing Rehabilitation and Real Estate Division website at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: urban) or call 402.441.7864.
Will my business be compensated for lost revenues that occur during a City construction project?
The City cannot compensate businesses for lost business revenues that occur during its construction projects. The Department of Public Works and Utilities' foremost responsibility in using taxpayer dollars is to maintain and enhance the City's infrastructure. It is this infrastructure of streets and utilities that enables businesses to operate and citizens to carry out their daily activities.
Revenue downturns can be one of the unfortunate repercussions to adjacent businesses. The inconveniences and hardships are temporary, yet necessary to achieve the long-term benefits of having road and utility systems that operate safely, effectively and efficiently for our citizens, including you and your customers, suppliers and employees.
If you operate a business in Lincoln, it is probably only a matter of time before a City construction project will affect you in some way. Having a "rainy-day" plan in place can help you cope during construction.
Can I post signs to direct customers to my business?
For safety reasons, certain rules and regulations need to be followed in order to obtain permission to use these signs on public right-of-way. Sign designs and locations must be approved by the Department of Public Works and Utilities. Formal approval is granted through a permit application process. Examples of acceptable signage and the Temporary Guide Sign Permit application form are available on the City's web site.
Your permit application signifies that you have read and agree to follow these rules. Information about sign size, placement, design and examples of acceptable signs are posted on the City's web site with the application form. City staff may remove or relocate, without notice, any signs found to be in violation of these rules.
When can I get involved in a project?
The best time to get involved is during the design stage of a project. Design can last a few months or a few years, depending on the project. Most major improvement projects are planned several years in advance and have lengthy design processes that include many opportunities for public participation. Rehabilitation projects often have a shorter timeframe to meet more immediate needs. In both cases, as design reaches completion, the City contacts affected business operators and holds informational meetings on pending construction.
You can stay abreast of planned improvements, both long-term and short-term, by familiarizing yourself with:
- The Capital Improvement Program
- The One-and Six-Year Streets and Highways Program
- The Comprehensive Plan
- The Long-Range Transportation Plan (see the Mobility and Transportation section of the Comprehensive Plan)
Each of these documents is updated periodically and available on the City website.
How can I contact the Department of Public Works and Utilities?
You can visit the website for the Department of Public Works and Utilities at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: public works), e-mail us at email@example.com or call us at 402.441.7711.