Audit finds flawed work 2 years into KCMO sidewalk repair program

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some neighborhood sidewalks and streets are improving thanks to a tax hike Kansas City voters approved two years ago.  However, it’s not good news for everyone.  A new audit finds some flaws in some of the work that’s being done.

Carmen Moser enjoys pushing her 17-year-old blind dog around her Brookside neighborhood in a stroller.  She said she often takes the street to avoid many rough sidewalks

“Unfortunately, not all sidewalks are being repaired,” Moser said.

She told FOX4 she’s thankful the sidewalks on her block are now smooth after being redone with GO KC bond money last year.  Yet, even that work wasn’t perfect.

“Our new sidewalks actually had to be pulled up again for the water fixing,” Moser said.

The city auditor found similar issues with several GO bond sidewalk projects.  Repeated construction mistakes have forced sections of new pavement to be redone.

The audit revealed a lack of proper joints, which connect old and new sections of sidewalk.  Some new ADA ramps didn’t meet accessibility requirements, and a few water valves were even buried under concrete.

“City resources were wasted when water services had to locate, attempt to locate, and or repair curb stop boxes,” city auditor Doug Jones said. “Residents were inconvenienced, and resident impressions of the city’s performance were poor.”

The auditor and members of the city council’s transportation committee agree better checks and balances are needed to make sure contractors are following city ordinances and project requirements.

“We’re looking at their work. If they want to do business with the city, and use the taxpayers dollars, then we need quality work,” council member Teresa Loar said.

The public works department said it’s already improving its processes based on the auditor’s findings. Officials said they are adding to the checklist contractors and inspectors use to make sure work is done right.

“There are improvements that we can make to make this program better, and we will continue to evaluate our processes and our objectives on our standards as we move forward on all our projects,” public works director Sherri McIntyre said.

The GO bonds provide for millions of dollars for sidewalk repairs over the next 20 years, so people hope implementing those recommendations the rest of the sidewalk program will be much smoother.

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