After a difficult winter, potholes once again plague city streets.
According to Kansas City’s public works department, there were nearly 700 active work orders for potholes on Wednesday morning.
But the city plans to change its approach to fixing streets in the next year.
Mayor Quinton Lucas, City Manager Brian Platt, and Public Works Director Michael Shaw met at 17th and Corrington to announce a new plan for addressing street repairs.
First, the city’s proposed budget for 2021 effectively doubles the amount spent on road resurfacing.
“We’ve recognized that Kansas Citians care about roads they can drive on,” Lucas said, “especially compared to cities around us.”
Shaw noted that doubling the city’s budget for resurfacing would double the amount of ground workers could cover.
In addition, the city plans to outfit its public works vehicles with sensors and cameras that can detect potholes and other pavement problems as trucks drive around the city.
“It will automatically come into the system we have and create work orders for our pothole trucks to do,” Shaw explained.
The Rubicon sensors are similar to those the city installed on trash trucks in 2021. Shaw said they saved money by allowing crews to work more efficiently.
Another issue officials mentioned was holding private companies accountable for cut-ins made to work on utility lines. The city plans to increase inspections and enforcement of utilities’ responsibility to reseal the pavement after they complete the work.