Busy Grandview street overhaul has drivers facing traffic jams and pothole problems

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Aside from traffic backups, not much makes a drive worse than potholes. Put the two together and you have 135th St. in Kansas City, Mo.

More than 25,000 vehicles travel down 135th Street. With time, the roads cracked under the weight of heavy traffic.

“Had potholes, worn down,” said Andrew Parker who drives on 135th almost every day.

That kind of drive became the norm. Parker works at Martin City Brewing Co., located right off 135th.  He noticed the construction to fix the problems created even more problems.

“It was horrible,” he said with a laugh. “It was congested and took a while and blew a couple of water mains here and there.”

Those days are nearly over at least for the pub. It falls under phase one of the 135th Street overhaul plan.

Sean Demory of the public works department said the street was not built for the kind of traffic it has today.

“It was designed for the occasional pickup truck, the occasional local driver. It was unimproved rural road that was getting city traffic and it's getting aggressive city traffic,” he said.

The $9.1 million plan to fix 135th Street is divided into three sections:

Phase 1: from Holmes to Oak Street is nearly completed.

Phase 2: does not have a start date yet. It entails fixing 135th from Oak to Wornall. Demory says he anticipates the bid to begin late spring or summer 2015.

And then Phase 3: concentrates on Wornall to MO HWY 150.

“It’s just one of those things people have gotten used to with 135th. That there will be potholes, there will be issues. There will be orange cones and there will be folks from the city out patching things,” said Demory.

Work includes road expansions, adding sidewalks, and improving storm drainage. Though it might be a headache now, Parker says it’s worth the wait.

“It kind of reminds me of another plaza location now that we sidewalks and everything else. Huge improvement,” he said.

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