Overland Park to require concrete streets for new construction

Overland Park to require concrete streets for new construction
Overland Park to require concrete streets for new construction(City of Overland Park, Kansas Government)
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 7:09 AM CDT
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (KCTV) - The City of Overland Park will require new residential and collector streets, which are roads designed to provide access to residential properties, to be built with concrete pavement starting in October 2023.

The City Council unanimously approved a recommendation to update the City’s design and construction standards. Changes to street standards include:

  • Require single-family and multifamily residential streets, collector streets, and “super collector” streets to be constructed with concrete pavement.
  • Narrowing the allowable width of some new local residential streets from 28 feet to 26 feet wide.
  • The new standards will be published on November 1.

Reducing reliance on chip seal

The initiative to build more concrete streets stems from the City of Overland Park’s pledge to reduce its reliance on chip seals.

Chip seal is an asphalt pavement maintenance method that extends the life of pavement by as many as seven years, but the city said it can be a rough surface and cause chip rock to gather near work sites.

“Fewer asphalt streets means the City will perform less chip seal pavement maintenance,” said Public Works Director Lorraine Basalo. “This is a small step, but a step in the right direction and it can have a large impact in the long run.”

Over the course of about 20 years, the City expects the change will mean about 370 lane miles of street that would eventually need chip seal maintenance, will instead be built with concrete.

Benefits of concrete

According to the city, over the 50-year lifespan of expected streets, the overall cost of both pavement asphalt and concrete streets is roughly equivalent.

Asphalt requires maintenance every 5-7 years, including crack seal, chip seal, and “mill and overlay” to keep streets in good condition.

The city insists concrete requires maintenance only every 15 years over the same time frame, and does not require chip seal as a maintenance method.

Overland Park said concrete streets have additional environmental benefits: Less maintenance means fewer materials used and fossil fuels consumed. Concrete pavement temperatures are also slightly cooler than asphalt.

Decision rooted in community engagement

In 2022, the Infrastructure Advisory Group recommended, along with other strategies to improve the City’s streets, that Overland Park reduce its reliance on chip seals as a maintenance method.

The City has used concrete to re-construct existing neighborhood streets for several years, because of the benefits listed above.

In January, the City Council Public Works Committee suggested staff consider the possibility of requiring new neighborhood streets to be built with concrete.

City staff worked with community partners, including the Kansas City Home Builders Association, the asphalt pavement industry, the concrete pavement industry, and the engineering community, along with business owners and residents, to take input from the public and determine the feasibility of concrete streets in new neighborhoods.

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