KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – Merely spotting one can send people into a snit. Along the Trolley Trail in Waldo, it’s not hard to find people peeved about potholes.
“I say a curse word or two when I hit one,” said Kansas City resident Beth Barnett. “I have to do a lot of acrobatics with my car.”
“I have low profile tires on my car, so avoiding potholes is an important thing for me,” added Scott Hanson, who lives in Kansas City and drives a sporty Dodge Charger.
Vanail Stephens lives in Independence but drives through Kansas City often.
“I’ve already had to replace the struts on my car once this year already,” he said.
The city is boosting its budget to fix them more thoroughly in hopes of getting people to go from griping to good news.
“We have a wonderful city with wonderful things going on but that doesn’t mean people don’t deserve good basics like driving on a street where they’re not blowing out tires, having hubcap issues, or having long-term concerns,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
The new fiscal year started Saturday. With it, the city has upped the budget for its Street Preservation Program from $17 million to $39 million. 240 lane miles are slated for full re-surfacing, up from 135 last year. They’re also doing 295 lane miles of micro-surfacing and crack sealing.
Decisions on where to do the work have been based on data analysis and community input.
“Maybe a road isn’t in the worst condition but maybe it affects the most amount of people,” explained City Manager Brian Platt.
City officials say they were able to distribute more money for paving by postponing more high dollar projects like new or widened roads.
“It’s improving,” Hanson remarked. “I was on Ward Parkway today and it looks like they’ve just resurfaced a major part.”
“That increase should help out a lot,” said Stephens.
That said, this fiscal year’s budget is just a sliver of the $5 billion dollars in infrastructure improvements city leaders have identified as needed. The city's Public Works director is asking people to be patient.
“When we do these, you have to remember this is a long-term process,” said Public Works Director Michael Shaw. “We have a lot of infrastructure needs in Kansas City. We are in this for the long haul.”
To make sure the work is spread out, they’re using part of the money for data driven repairs and setting aside another chunk to be split into equal pots for each council district.
City leaders urge you to contact 311 or use their app to report any concerns about street conditions. They have a webpage where you can find a list of all the projects planned by address and date. You can find it here.