Kansas City Council to consider lowering standard for roads

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — UPDATE 8:50 PM 4/26/2018: The Kansas City council has referred it's decision on lowering road standards back to committees.

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The City Council is considering lowering the standard for its roads.

It's called the pavement condition index. Right now, the city is supposed to maintain a 60 percent rating on a scale of 0 to 100. Councilman Scott Wagner said in 2016, the city exceeded that goal. In 2017, the index was 55 percent. Now, it's down to 48 percent.

"If you get to three years where you are not reaching that goal, then that depreciation piece begins to start," Wagner said.

That's why the City Council is considering lowering its goal from 60 percent which is described as, "needing repairs and improvements" to 40 percent, which is described as, "at least useable."

Wagner insists the city is, "Not trying to create a license for us to do less on our roads."

People like Ashleigh Fritz don't like the idea, "Because I think they're bad enough now. Worse is not a good standard."

With the GO Bond and 1 percent sales tax, about $467 million is allocated for the roads. Wagner explained the city just can't fix the roads fast enough to reach the current goal and avoid depreciation.

Right now, the city position is valued at $2.4 billion, but depreciating just 75 percent of the roads in the city would drop that position to $1.1 billion.

Wagner said, "Like every other city in the United States historically, we along with everybody else has not spent as much as should be spent on street maintenance. We're trying to change that and we'll get there. It is going to take us some time."

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