KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Drive anywhere in the Kansas City metro, and you probably won’t go long without seeing a pothole.
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, has already patched up more than 8,000 of them. But there’s so many that need to be repaired that its Public Works Department is adding a Saturday shift to get it under control.
“We get at least 2-3 a day, which is flat tires. It’s just not the tires. It’s also the wheels. It’s also suspension,” said Eric Borisouth, general manager at Boulevard Tires and Service. “So like I said, in the morning, there’s probably one or two in the parking lot has been towed in overnight.”
Boulevard Tires and Service has been helping those drivers get back on the road, but it comes at a cost.
“On average, you know, if it’s just a wheel and tire, you’re looking $350-400 on average,” Borisouth said. “But then you’ve got to take in tire rods; you’ve got to take in struts, and it can go up anywhere from $1,500-2,000.”
That’s why Wyandotte County is trying to tackle the thousands of potholes on its to-do list.
“We added these new crews to Saturdays so that we can meet the expectation as best we can for them,” said Dave Reno, spokesperson for the UG’s Public Works Department.
The department said because of staffing shortages, it had to add that extra work day.
“We’re down about 18 employees right now. But 18 employees in the street division, we could add four more patching crews. So that’s how much we’re missing out on,” Reno said.
So far, crews have managed to knock out more than 8,000 potholes, and during its first Saturday shift, they patched up over 300.
“Residents don’t like potholes. No one likes potholes,” Reno said. “And we know that the community expects those potholes to get patched.”
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