Kansas City admits it’s losing the pothole war; repairs predicted through June

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Public works managers admit that the city is losing the pothole war, and it might take until June, four months, for crews to catch up on all the repairs.

Public works managers told the city's transportation committee that last week alone, workers filled more than 2,100 potholes. That's just a drop in the bucket compared to those that are still out there.

Council members learned that on Monday workers patched 45 holes just on one bridge.

So far this season, the city has used 49 tons of cold mix to fill holes in the pavement.

This week an asphalt company began testing an experimental material on Ward Parkway to see if it will last longer. The city said it's willing to try almost anything.

Council members said they're overwhelmed by complaints of road conditions that pose a danger to the public.

"I think some thought needs to be given to the way we respond to the worst of the worst," 6th District Councilman Kevin McManus said. "We can’t get out there because we’ve got another storm coming. In those instances, get a cone out there. At least identify it for folks so they know, 'Hey, I got to get over.'"

Public works managers said they need $46 million a year to properly maintain and reconstruct 6,000 lane miles of pavement in Kansas City. This year the city spent less than $11 million.

The proposed new budget, which starts May 1, would boost that amount to $17 million, still a far cry from what the experts want.

With more snow expected this weekend and yet another freeze/thaw cycle of big temperature swings, city managers warn that the street situation may get even worse before things get better.

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