Letter carrier drives onto freshly laid road surface in Prairie Village causing thousands of dollars in damage

Tire marks from a U.S. Postal Service vehicle that drove around a barricade damaged a new road surface in Prairie Village Thursday.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor clearly marked traffic barrier was going to keep one U.S. Postal Service worker from delivering the mail in Prairie Village yesterday.

Road crews had recently completed a road microsurfacing project on 72nd Street east of Nall Ave. on Thursday when a mail carrier looking to make deliveries on the street arrived. The crews had put up barricades to keep traffic off the street while the thin layer of fresh asphalt emulsion cured.

The driver apparently didn’t think those barricades were applicable to the U.S. Postal Service vehicle, though, and maneuvered around the barricade leaving tire marks in the fresh surface for hundreds of feet.

“The postal employee drove on the surface before it had cured,” said Prairie Village Public Works senior project manager Melissa Prenger, noting that curing time for a microsurfacing installation varies based on temperature and humidity.

Public Works Field Superintendent James Carney said the police officers were able to identify the driver who caused the damage.

“PVPD officers did a great job of locating the driver and vehicle after the incident, so I expect the USPS to be paying for the repairs,” he said.

Carney said the “unofficial ballpark figure” for the repairs appears to be about $5,000.

“The microsurface needed to cure completely before the contractor could fix it,” Prenger said. “They will return on Monday of next week to take care of the repair, weather permitting.