Manhole left uncovered for days at busy KC intersection in Historic Northeast

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's been a puzzling and potentially dangerous safety hazard for days at a busy intersection in the Historic Northeast area in Kansas City.

"Yeah, they should at least fix it," neighbor Anthony Cordon said.

He's scratching his head. He can't believe that at least since Sunday, five days now, a manhole just down the street from his home near Independence and Ewing hasn't been covered.

"Look at that hole. The manhole cover just looks broken down there," Cordon said.

FOX4's Robert Townsend spotted the broken off, rusty iron plate at the bottom of the manhole that's about several feet underground.

"Someone could definitely hurt falling in there and possibly get stuck in there," Cordon said.

A spokesperson for KC Water said they placed two barricades around the manhole on Sunday because of repair work that's going on in the area. We're also told a utility company owns the manhole.

"I just don't have a clue about any of it," Cordon said.

Right now, no one can say for sure how long the manhole cover has been off.

What is clear is the safety hazard has worried neighbors, has created traffic jams and has caused loud bangs when drivers' tires hit it.

"That guy just hit it, the guy who rode by. He just ran over the hole," said a startled Jeff Shrout, who pulled up to the intersection.

"Somebody knocked over the two barricades, so I'm just gonna put them back around the manhole until the city or somebody gets here. That's bad. It's just not safe. They should put a steel plate down or just another manhole cover," Shrout said.

Just minutes after Shrout positioned the barricades, the driver of an 18-wheeler hit both barricades.

An alert passer-by saw it, hopped out of his truck and quickly picked them up so the semi driver can get back.

On Thursday afternoon, FOX4 then called KC Water. About 30 minutes later, the water company's workers arrived, lowered a huge steel plate off a truck and covered the hole.

A relieved Cordon is all smiles now that the safety hazard is no more.

"It took awhile, but at least they patched it up. It's a good thing and much safer now," Cordon said.

In the meantime, as of Thursday, KC Water and the city's Public Works Department were still trying to figure out what company actually owns the utility manhole and exactly what it had gone uncovered for several days.

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