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The solution to Kansas City’s potholes could be a van from Texas

High-tech van will scan all of the city’s streets
pothole scan van.png
Posted at 5:41 PM, Jun 04, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Drivers in Kansas City, Missouri, said they see potholes every day.

“I go through a flat tire like once a month,” Mirella Welsh said.

And drivers don’t like the the hassle that comes along with each pothole.

“Holes everywhere,” Davyon Hunter said. “You’re always running over something — potholes, ditches, messing up tires."

Kansas City is now turning to a Texas-based company to use a van equipped with GPS, lasers and cameras to help the city prioritize road repairs and check if past repairs are holding up as expected.

Over the next two months, two vans from Roadway Asset Services will drive down every street in the city limits.

Along the way, the vans’ equipment will document each pothole, crack, divot, and send the data to the city’s public works department.

VIDEO EXPLAINER | Van to help KCMO address potholes:

“We need a fair and consistent and standardized process for reviewing and auditing all the work we do,” KCMO City Manager Brian Platt said.

Platt has made road repairs one of his priorities.

Last fiscal year, the city set a record for the number of roads it resurfaced.

He’s now hiring companies like Roadway Assets Services to scan city streets every two years instead of every three years.

This year’s street scan will cost the city about $450,000. Drivers said it’s worth it.

“If we could have smooth roads to drive on every single day, everyone would be happy, happy campers,” Welsh said.

The city is exploring ways to add the lasers, cameras, GPS trackers and other technology from the Roadway Asset Services van to city-owned trash trucks and other vehicles which drive around the city on a regular basis.

Below are websites for people to report potholes to the city of KCMO, Missouri Department of Transportation and Kansas Department of Transportation: