The reconstruction of Bob Billings Parkway from Kasold Drive to Iowa Street was finished over the weekend, with motorists finding the four-lane roadway’s lanes reopened to traffic at last.
At last, another piece of the city’s ongoing road rebuilding is completed. Work continues at the intersection of Iowa Street and the parkway, and there’s a long way to go north of that intersection before street widening work is finished.
At the parkway and Wakarusa, construction is continuing to the north.
Although other bits of the improvements along this major arterial remain, the city’s drivers certainly must be relieved, and pleased, that the project from Kasold Drive east is finished.
Nevertheless, the electric signs that greeted drivers Saturday morning may need a bit of tempering. They flashed: “Thank You.” And “Progress as Promised.”
That seems a bit too self-congratulatory.
Let’s remember that this street has been resurfaced, patched and rebuilt continually since its installation. The work just completed was financed by a special sales tax intended to remediate poor construction specifications that led to early, and continued, deterioration of this and other streets throughout the community.
The signs should have read: “Thank You.” “You more than paid for it.”
There should be a lesson here for elected city officials and officeholders in City Hall. The lesson is that somebody with expertise should be examining, very critically, the specifications for all city infrastructure projects so that taxpayers don’t get stuck with shoddy work that needs to be replaced before the bonds that finance it are paid for and before its expected useful life is fulfilled.
Yes, it’s nice to have this particular element of the city’s ongoing street and road construction finished. Let’s hope the fundamentals are not lost on city officials – some of whom were on board when the problem was created. Let’s hope these issues are not being replicated in new projects, such as the Rock Chalk Park. Let’s hope also that we’re not overcompensating in current and future projects for the unfortunate oversights of the past.
“Progress?” “As Promised?” Hello, City Hall!