By Holly Cook
Roads impacting 414 properties in Roeland Park have been improved this year, according to the 2016 Street Maintenance Report presented to the city council last week. The city utilized $250,000 from the street maintenance budget to make the improvements.
The biggest portion of the budget, $123,400, went towards large patch repair on about 4,000-square yards of road. Another $29,000 went toward sealing 1.12 miles of road and $26,000 was used to provide curb, gutter and sidewalk maintenance and replacement.
The sidewalk, curb and gutter outside Cedar Roe Library was among the areas improved.
Out of Roeland Park’s 34-mile street network, about 20 percent is considered to be in good condition, 44 percent in fair condition and 37 percent in poor condition. The city also spent $4,000 on coring to evaluate streets throughout the city considered to be in poor condition.
Roeland Park’s Director of Public Works Jose Leon said the city stretches tax dollars by prepping and chip sealing roads rather than doing a mill and overlay or complete reconstruction. For example, Roeland Park spent $6,700 on prep work and chip seal for the section of Falmouth Street between 47th and 48th. A two-inch mill and overlay would have cost $36,400 and a total reconstruction $97,000.
Leon said it is recommended that every street receives some sort of improvement once every eight years. The city plans to decrease contracted work and promote more in-house labor in 2017, Leon said. In 2016 public works staff performed routine maintenance on 7.19 miles of road and spent 432 man hours on prep work.
“We are really trying to push more in-house street work for our guys because it really does save the city a lot of dollars in the long run,” Leon said.
The city plans to improve 51 streets in 2017.