Compared to recent years, this winter has been particularly brutal.
Days of snowfall and frigid temperatures brought with them the usual miseries- and occasional joys- of winter weather.
Crews from the various public works departments did a wonderful job of plowing the roads and streets every time there was a snow event, enhancing safety on the roadways and sidewalks in our communities.
We applaud them for their dedication.
However, we could not help but notice the rapid deterioration of Kansas Highway 56, the Main Street in Gardner.
While potholes are an expected nuisance during winter months, Highway 56 was particularly treacherous this time around. Driving on the section between 175th and Elm Street felt like a sojourn on a lunar landscape with widening seams and gaping holes.
Highway 56 is a state road and Kansas Department of Transportation is responsible for its maintenance, including snow plowing.
While the state crews were often out on the road- plowing after a snowfall; and filling the potholes as they appeared- the holes reappeared overnight.
This is common in winter, and the crews had little choice but to go out and refill them. However, as truck traffic continues to increase, it’s important a long term solution be found.
The Gardner City Council recently gave staff the green-light to apply for funds from a recently established state matching fund which, if successful, would see the rehabilitation of the road, including the replacement of the entire pavement.
Our hope is that as the city and the state work out the funding mechanisms, and look long range to repave and upgrade 56 Hwy to handle the current traffic.
It is our Main Street after all.