Worried about collapse, Roeland Park council moves to replace damaged drains quickly

This corner in Roeland Park is among the latest spots to be plagued by the failure of metal storm drains.
This corner at Buena Vista in Roeland Park will be cut open to replace the storm drain.

Just hours after the Roeland Park City Council decided to move sooner rather later on replacing eroded metal storm drains, the rain began to fall and public works this morning was monitoring two spots that collapsed this summer.

The two areas of concern are at the intersection of Elledge and Buena Vista and at Roe Lane near the intersection with Roe Avenue by Quik Trip. Earlier this summer a heavy rain caused ground above the drains to collapse.  It was determined that the corrugated metal storm drains had rusted through and water was washing out dirt around the pipes. A similar issue caused a sink hole to open in the Mission West shopping center parking lot in Mission this summer as well.

Public Works Director David Mootz said the two trouble spots were being monitored this morning but rains had not been heavy enough yet to cause a problem. The fill dirt from the last collapse would go first, Mootz said, give an early warning before the street was in jeopardy.

The council Monday found out that its preferred method of repair – inserting a new liner into the drain – could not be accomplished until next spring because contractors who do the procedure are booked until then. In the interest of safety, the council decided to take a more disruptive and slightly more expensive approach to the repair, which involves cutting open the street and replacing the damaged sections. It is anticipated that could be accomplished yet this year.

Both Roe Lane and Buena Vista will be cut, Mootz said, causing some traffic detours when the work is done. Council members expressed concern that waiting too long could result in a collapse where someone could get hurt. The safest approach, Mootz told the council, is to make the open cut and get it repaired as soon as possible.