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Northland resurfacing project plagued by delays

Northland resurfacing project.jpg
Posted at 7:33 PM, Jun 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-07 21:30:37-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Drivers traveling along Northwest 68th Street between Northwest Waukomis Drive and U.S. 169 can't seem to catch a break.

First, the harsh winter opened virtually every seam in the aging pavement and now the fix is causing more headaches.

"There weren’t many alternatives to what we’re trying to do," Kansas City, Missouri, Public Works Director of Operations Greg Bolon said.

To get the job done quickly, the city chose to use its own public works crews instead of bidding out the resurfacing, but the dozen or so workers assigned to the project since March have faced a steep learning curve and equipment failure.

In fact, the paver the city is renting for $17,500 a month is currently down for repairs.

"It’s just a hard process on equipment, so we just have to deal with that," Bolon said. "Plus, we’ve had to deal with weather."

The work performed so far has its fair share of critics.

"It’s like putting in rumble strips all up and down 68th Street," said Jason Shanks, who lives in the area.

His neighbors and local representatives are equally annoyed.

"You should hear it at night," another nearby resident Greg Ellington said. "You can hear every car going by, because it hits each one of those bumps and it causes it to ripple everywhere."

KCMO City Council member Dan Fowler, who represents the second district, is aware of the problems.

"Public works could have done a better job on making the surface a lot smoother," he said. "On the other hand, it’s a whole better than it was. And I know. I drive by it weekly just to see the progress."

Fowler added that the current project is a short-term solution until they get funding for a permanent one.

"I get that it's a mess, but it’s going to cost $12 to 14 million to completely rebuild the street, which has to be done to adequately repair it," Fowler said.

Meanwhile, the paving machine in need of repairs is expected to be back in service in a week or two.

If the weather cooperates, the city hopes to have this project done in about a month.