WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Orange cones started to pop up in some Wichita neighborhoods, as residential street repairs are underway.
Last year, the Wichita City Council voted to put $10 million from the Hyatt Hotel sale into neighborhood roads.
“The residential streets haven’t received the same sort of funding and attention over the years as our big main streets,” said Alan King, Wichita Public Works and Utilities director.
King explained that, every 18 months, the city conducts inspections on streets — looking for stresses, cracks and at the past maintenance history. Once they have that information, officials come up with an estimate of remaining life.
For many streets in Wichita, it doesn’t look too good.
“The ones that we’re dealing with have an estimated remaining life of zero years, so they’re past the remaining life,” King said. “We mitigate them to try to keep them travel-able, but they’re past their remaining useful life — those are the streets that we’re working on.”
Almost 210 miles of residential streets will get an improved look and feel.
Crews will be making spot repairs on cracks or any big holes. Once those repairs are finished, they’ll cover the street with a seal coat to give it that brand new look.
Merlan Grable lives on N. Robin Road in west Wichita. Crews were out by his house surfacing Birch Lane, which Grable describes as a “rough drive.”
He added he’s happy to see the city invest in the preservation and safety of the streets.
“It’s excellent,” he said. “A lot of them need it.”
City officials don’t expect the road work to impact traffic. There will always be one lane open on any impacted street, and any affected residents will receive advance notice of the road work.
According to King, street repairs can last between one to two weeks, depending on the contractor. However, there are some streets that crews will spot repair this year, and then the surfacing will happen next year.
With 210 miles to repair, the city is splitting the project up into two years.
Depending on future funding, King said the city may use the same approach to repair additional streets.
The City of Wichita has an interactive map to show what neighborhoods will be affected by the street repairs.