City officials address road issues

Snow Plows (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita city officials addressed the issues of roads again Monday after four inches of snow fell on the city.

The city says it remains in continuous, 24-hour snow removal operations, but a quick check of the web and you can find internet pages saying Wichita should be doing more.

One page even says the Wichita Public Works Deputy Director Joe Pajor is not doing a good job.

In response to what’s happening, Pajor says there are 50 trucks working 12 hours shifts to clear the streets.

But, a drive around Wichita shows there are many snow packed streets on emergency snow routes.

KSN asked some of the smaller municipalities like Haysville and Newton how they are doing.

Both public works departments tell us their streets do have snow pack, but they say they may be doing a better job than Wichita because, per-capita, they have more resources for the number of miles they have to clean.

So should Wichita be spending more money?

Wichita Public Works leaders tell us they will look at what they are doing right and are open to suggestions.

“We always want to learn as much as we can from every snow, ice event from every storm experience that we have to be able to respond better next time,” said Joe Pajor.

In Wichita, KDOT takes care of the interstates and highways.

KSN asked why those roadways seem to be more clear in spots.

“Once you get behind and you can’t use all your resources, it’s tough. I think that’s what we’re seeing in the city of Wichita,” said Tom Hein, KDOT. “It’s just very difficult if you don’t have a full arsenal like all the salt you want to use.”

Hein says the cold is troublesome to get the streets down to dry pavement, and he says it’s a challenge without salt. Wichita has been challenged with salt.

KSN asked if the city should keep more on hand.

“It would be possible for us to build a fourth storage dome to increase our ability to store salt-sand mix. If we do that, we are in much better control of our own destiny,” said Pajor.

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