The Watchdog

Leawood, KC split responsibility for plowing State Line Road

Updated: 2014-01-08T01:09:33Z

The problem

After the first of our three recent snowfalls, Tim Curry of Leawood complained to the Watchdog about the slow pace of snow removal on State Line Road south of Interstate 435.

“The road is usually in horrible condition for a long time compared to other roads in the area,” said Curry, who wondered which city was responsible for plowing there.

The answer

Leawood is responsible for plowing State Line Road north of I-435, while Kansas City is in charge south of the interstate.

“Saying that, we clear State Line southbound going (south) up the hill from I-435,” said Joe Johnson, Leawood’s public works director. “We would get too many calls from the Police Department regarding cars getting stuck trying to get up the hill, so we plow and treat that section to College. We will also clear this same northbound section going down the hill if KCMO has not gotten to it and it gets bad.”

Johnson said Kansas City plows usually reach State Line later in the process.

“I have told my drivers when they are coming back south to our maintenance facility to drop their plows and clear the southbound lanes to 135th Street,” Johnson said.

Sean Demory of the Kansas City Public Works Department said that during the pre-Christmas snowfall of Dec. 21-22, Kansas City crews were in the area after 7:30 p.m. that Saturday. Leawood had plowed earlier.

With an initial threat of up to 6 inches of snow later in that weather cycle, the city initially worked with limited crews to make sure it was staffed in case of a more severe storm, “which is why we took as long as we did in the area,” Demory said.

“We have adjusted our scheduling to work with Leawood's schedule more effectively and provide the best possible snow removal service for drivers in that area,” Demory said.

The Watchdog wonders whether plows might get places faster if the bosses yelled, “Mush!”

Do you have a problem or a question about a public issue? Write to the Watchdog, The Kansas City Star, Newsroom, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108, or send email to watchdog@kcstar.com. Include your name, phone number and city of residence.

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