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Pothole peril: Thousands of complaints in KCMO; city to address problem

Posted at 6:43 PM, Feb 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-09 19:44:09-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, is looking to improve the way it addresses potholes.

This year alone, the city has received 1,666 complaints about potholes compared to 1,254 this time last year.

The city council approved a resolution last week to develop a plan to address the problem, such as repairing the potholes in a timely manner and preventing them from popping up on the city's more than 6,000 lane miles.

Several residents spoke to 41 Action News about the issue.

"Kansas City, not of fountains, not of the winning Chiefs, but the City of Potholes," said resident Rachel Thomas.

Resident Grant Roach said the potholes are unavoidable.

"There's cars next to you, you can't get over, you can't swerve over,” he said. “It's ridiculous.”

The problem is not new, and Waldo resident Frank Sereno knows it all too well.

"Spending 10 years trying to get the potholes fixed, not only in Waldo but in Kansas City and it just falls on deaf ears," Sereno said.

So he started a petition to help fix the main roads in Waldo and instead of filling potholes, to resurface and have a plan to fix them up.

"We're sick and tired of the excuses,” he said. “We're sick and tired of having our roads damage our cars and put our safety at risk. We have to have the roads repaved. It's just as simple as that.”

Mayor Quinton Lucas is expected to address road infrastructure during his State of the City address on Wednesday. He sent the following statement to 41 Action News:

“Our city has a duty to take care of basic services, and we just aren’t cutting it on maintaining our roads and filling potholes. I ask that we hire a pothole czar soon to ensure we prioritize deferred maintenance in all Kansas City neighborhoods. Still, both the position and who holds it are ultimately a decision of City Manager Earnest Rouse, and conversations are ongoing. I look forward to discussing the delivery of basic services in more depth during my State of the City address on Wednesday.”

The plan is a “step in the right direction,” according to Sereno.

“But again, this is the Show Me State, this isn't the Tell Me State,” Sereno said. “So we're 50 percent there that it seems like someone has caught the ear of our city leaders and said, 'Hey, we have a serious problem here.’ Now they are starting to address it.