Rough roads through Kansas City construction zones blamed for damaging cars

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Popped tires, bent rims and damaged alignments are just some of the damage many Kansas City car owners say they're dealing with because of extremely rough roads through construction zones.

The intersection of 77th and Brookside in Kansas City is a rough road, and that might be putting it lightly.

"It's terrible," Yvonne Coleman said.

Coleman lives right around the corner and has been dealing with the mess for weeks. Her boyfriend's muffler was even dented from hitting the rough gravel and metal plates. She just wishes the crews working in the area would do their job, then fix the mess left behind.

"Right! Especially if they tore it up! You tear it up, you fix it up, and in a timely manner at least," Coleman said.

City council member Quinton Lucas knows the headaches of holes in the road all too well. This week, he hit one, popping his tire.

"I think frankly it's unacceptable. We have people spending hundreds of dollars a year," Lucas said.

As soon as you think there might be a problem with your car, it's important to document as much as you can. Take a picture of the area where it happened and the damage to your vehicle. Then get it checked out and fixed as quickly as possible and report everything to the city's 311 line or the public works department.

"Make sure you're keeping a record of your maintenance and repairs. You`re unlikely to get any money before, but if you have a record, that's the kind of thing you can send to the city and say, 'Hey, this time it was your guys' fault,' or alternatively a utility contractor or somebody else," Lucas said.

The particular work at 77th and Brookside in Waldo is a part of a "Smart Sewer" project, one of the city's biggest infrastructure projects.

Lucas said the messy roads are a price of progress after voters approved $800 million of infrastructure bonds last year.

"The positive is, there's a lot going on in the city. The negative is, it leaves an impact," Lucas said.

But he said there's plenty of talk at City Hall about making sure roads aren't left worse than they started during a project and how to address that.

"That's entirely unacceptable. We need to get a few more road inspecting folks who can see how this is going, make sure to the extent utilities or other construction companies, that they're getting cited for concerns relating to that," Lucas said.

Lucas does hope the city will work on better solutions to stop the excessive use of metal plates over problem spots.

But he's also keeping his eye on the prize, knowing in the long run, the money spent on these projects will leave infrastructure better for generations to come.

Kansas City spokesman Chris Hernandez said residents can report damage caused by city infrastructure in two ways: contacting the city's 311 line by phone, email or an online form or the city's website also has a form.