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Kansas City hopes its pothole war is over as another winter looms

Posted at 5:26 PM, Oct 16, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Months after the final snows of the 2018-2019 winter melted, public works crews in Kansas City, Missouri are still cleaning up Mother Nature's mess.

From January until Oct. 15, public works said it finished more than 17,000 requests for pot hole patches from 311.

"It was a task," Chris Irons, Kansas City Public Works general supervisor said of the effort. "All the 311 calls we were getting over and over.

Despite the thousands of jobs, crews still have around 700 to fill.

"Over time, the holes will disintegrate," Irons said. 'They will crack up and turn into little pebbles. Of course you will have to come back around. We will get calls where we fix a hole and have to fix that same hole one more time."

A rainy summer and a short-staffed department put added pressure on crews.

To ensure this doesn't happen again, the city said it's hiring every open position in the department.

"We are working actively to fill the vacancies, and making sure we have filly staffed crews will help going into winter season," Public Works spokesperson Maggie Green said. "Then being able to fill those pot holes after the winter hits."

Green said they are not changing the way they fill holes, but are working to get ahead of the damage.

"We are kind of monitoring the heath of the pavement," she said. "We are trying to make sure we are sealing up any cracks."

Green said crews are using crack sealing - the practice looks like a spider web of black tar - to help seal the crack.

As for the hope of city workers, they are asking winter to pass by Kansas City this year.

"I hope it's not as bad as last year," Green said.

"It takes its time. Hopefully it doesn't come at all," Irons added.