Shin­ing some light on roads’ dark­ness

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - LOCAL -

The prob­lem

Chuck Rodgers of Over­land Park and Kelly Church of Roe­land Park both have ques­tions about street­lights.

Rodgers says there is a lack of street­lights on Met­calf Av­enue from about three blocks north of John­son Drive to In­ter­state 35 and asks if it’s pos­si­ble to get lights there.

Church notes that a clus­ter of high­way lights have gone dark over the In­ter­state 35 and 635 in­ter­change. “What’s up with that?” The an­swer

The an­swers come from Burt Morey, an en­gi­neer for the Kansas Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, and Brian Shields, Over­land Park traf­fic en­gi­neer.

This north­ern­most por­tion of Met­calf is con­trolled by KDOT, not Over­land Park. That’s where Met­calf changes from a street with drive­ways, busi­nesses and cross streets to more of an open road­way lead­ing to the free­ways. KDOT typ­i­cally in­stalls lighting only at ma­jor in­ter­changes, and that usu­ally con­sists of large tow­ers, not the smaller lights seen along city streets.

As for the dark lights at the in­ter­change, KDOT is re­plac­ing them be­cause of crack­ing in the metal. They didn’t just go dark; they were gone.

If the lights had metal fa­tigue, the Dog has men­tal fa­tigue. Who’s gonna fix that? Do you have a com­ment or ques­tion about a pub­lic is­sue? Write to the Watch­dog, The Kansas City Star News­room, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108, or send e-mail to watch­dog@kc­star.com. In­clude your name, tele­phone num­ber and city of res­i­dence.

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