Fewer steel plates and patched roads? City leaders pass plan to make streets smoother

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City council members hope to make your drive through the city a lot smoother with some new rules.

City council members voted to adopt stricter street excavation standards Thursday. The new rules require utilities to make more extensive repairs to city streets after they finish underground work. Companies are also required to better coordinate with the city to complete any work where digging and ripping up a street is required.

The new rules mean:

Utilities are required to repair the full width of a lane of traffic anytime they cut into pavement that is 5 years old or older.
Crews are required to use improved backfilling material underneath the patch
Companies are required to repave the entire street if more than 20% of it will need to be patched
Crews are required to embed temporary steel plates in the pavement, not just placed on top of the street
Crews are required to combine patches that are 10 feet apart into one larger patch


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“Too often, the City spends time, resources, and manpower on resurfacing a street in our city, only to have that same street torn up days later for pre-scheduled utility work,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas. “It’s frustrating. It’s wasteful. It’s expensive.”

Utility companies are also required to submit plans so the city can make a map of upcoming projects available online.

Leaders said they expect to save money, see fewer potholes, and force utility companies to be responsible for their projects and work. You can read more about the city’s plan on Kansas City’s website.

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