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In Lee’s Summit, be on the lookout for orange cones with roadwork underway

Expect orange cones and workers on the road in coming months as Lee’s Summit Public Works does more than 100 miles of roadway projects between now and October.
Expect orange cones and workers on the road in coming months as Lee’s Summit Public Works does more than 100 miles of roadway projects between now and October.

The trucks are already out and you will want to pay attention to postcards coming in the mail and door hangers from the city over the next couple of months. They will be letting you know about roadwork coming to your neighborhood.

It could be noisy and dusty, but it should make your street last 10 to 20 more years, depending on the type of work being done.

Between now and October, the City of Lee’s Summit Public Works will overlay and surface seal 83.5 lane miles of roadway. They will also be replacing 12 miles of curbs and doing crack repairs on 49 lane miles of streets.

A surface seal is a thin layer that goes on top of the existing road overlay to protect the underlying road. About 50 lane miles will get this surface seal. Much of the work will be done at night because surface sealing requires vehicles to be completely off a road for three to four hours.

Project manager Vince Schmoger says the surface seal is done on roads that are not ready for a full overlay. It provides a new, uniform-looking surface and makes the road last longer. Be aware, although you can drive on it after four hours, it tends to be a little rough before the seal completely smooths.

“Be patient. It will get better. The surface seal actually takes three to four weeks to smooth out,” Schmoger said.

The surface seal will generally help a road last about another 10 years before a replacement is necessary. That work is costing the city about $1 million.

Public Works is also doing a mill and overlay on 31.3 lane miles of streets around town at a cost of $2.7 million. This is the dusty work. It does not, however, require traffic to be off the road for the long period of time.

“When they put the new surface on, it’s good to drive on within a half-hour or so. There is very minimal downtime,” Schmoger said.

When the city mills the road, they are still usable. Milling, which is the removal of the top layer of the old road, takes two to four days. The city will come back within seven days to put the new surface down. Door hangers will let you know ahead of time when the work will happen. The mill and overlay work should make the road good for about 20 years.

City workers also continue with a long-term replacement of curbs. They have replaced 220 miles of curb over the last eight years and will replace about 12 miles this fall. That work is necessary because of a faulty product used in previous decades.

“The curbs in the whole area built between 1980 and 2008 are just falling apart. The approved aggregate at the time was an absorbent limestone that would gain moisture and then pop,” Schmoger said.

The 2018 curb work is expected to cost about $1.5 million.

The final work for area roads will be a crack sealing project that will address issues on 49 lane miles of city streets at a cost of $132,000. The cracks usually come up about three to four years after the initial overlay. The crack-sealing program is used to hold the streets over for a few years until a surface seal is necessary.

The city tackles this kind of project each summer and fall. If you have questions about the work done on your block, you can call public works at 816-969-1800. Maps of scheduled work are available at cityofls.net/Public-Works/Street-Programs-and-Maintenance/Pavement-Management-Program.

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