KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Decades of deferred Maintenance.” That’s how Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas described what led to KC’s pothole problem. Now the city has new plan for street repairs, which includes more funding and new hires.
Crews worked along several blocks of Linwood Boulevard near Troost Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.
They were milling down pavement to make room for a new layer. This is part of the city’s shift in focus — resurfacing streets, rather than just patching potholes.
Deon Thomas-Scott said Linwood was riddled with potholes.
“Ugh, they’re terrible,” Thomas-Scott said.
Kansas City, Missouri, has repaired 15% fewer potholes this fiscal year, compared to last. Maggie Green, with KCMO, said that’s because they’ve increased resurfacing efforts by 200%.
“So that’s the direction we’re headed. Our strategy, more intentional about these longer-term repairs,” Green said. “These more comprehensive fixes that can make our streets smoother in the long run.”
At Wednesday’s Transportation Committee meeting, they’ll look at dedicating close to $38.5 million to resurfacing projects. In 2020, there was only $17 million to spend.
“That is double what we did in the program two years ago,” Green said.
Lucas tweeted saying they’re also “hiring more people for pothole repair.”
Right now, they have close to 40 workers and 10 asphalt trucks, according to Green. She said the city hopes to couple in-house employees with contractor crews.
Here are the streets Lucas said will be addressed this year:
- 63rd Street
- Tiffany Springs Pkwy
- NE Englewood
- 85th Street
Green said they use camera technology to decide the streets, looking at health of the pavement and coordinating with utility companies.
“The traffic counts, as well,” Green said. “We know Linwood is a really busy street. We know that there are lots of cars along this roadway. Lots of people use it.”
That includes Deon Thomas-Scott.
“They’re at least trying. There’s always the smaller neighborhoods that they always neglect. The potholes get worse over time. So, then it’s like this big gaping hole in the middle of the street,” Thomas-Scott said. “Hopefully it continues throughout the whole city and not just some of the main streets.”