(Omaha, NE) -- The $354 million plan for an Omaha streetcar system is closer to reality after Tuesday's Omaha City Council meeting.
"This whole initiative is based on economic development and jobs for the core of our region that will strengthen the entire region," says Jay Noddle, President of the Omaha Streetcar Authority. "While the focus is oftentimes simply on a streetcar, or how many people a streetcar can carry, it's really essential infrastructure."
The 3-mile route would use more than 5 miles of track, traveling along Farnam and Harney Streets from 10th to 42nd, and along 10th between Harney and Cass. If the project moves forward as planned, construction could begin as soon as January.
Omaha City Councilman Brinker Harding addresses some concerns on how fast the streetcar plan is progressing.
"This is a bold move, but a wise measure," says Harding. "I know there are some who have said that we're going too fast on this, but we're being thoughtful and thorough about what we're considering. I think it's our responsibility, that we need to be planning for the city's future."
The streetcar plan isn't done with the Omaha City Council yet. Final approval on the redevelopment agreement is scheduled for June 28th.