By BECKY KISER
The harsh winter in Hays was rough on the streets.
In addition to numerous potholes caused by freezing and warming temperatures, a lot of sand and salt was applied to the streets, and the snowplows were kept busy.
As the plows moved snow to the street edges, the machines were also scraping the street markings.
“Our street markings have taken a beating,” says Toby Dougherty, city manager, “especially on the arterials. They’re very rough and they degraded very quickly over the winter.”
Arterials are major streets at least 53 feet wide and are heavily trafficked. In Hays, Vine, U.S. Highway 183 Bypass, 8th, 13th, 27th, Hall, and Canterbury are classified as arterial streets.
Typically, the city improves the street markings as they begin to deteriorate. Employees can do some thermoplastic applications and painting in-house.
This year though, given the scale of the deterioration, the Public Works Department and the city project planner are devising a project to bid “a rather large marking project,” according to Dougherty, “probably a $150,000 to $160,000 project to get all the arterials back into place with professionally applied paint and thermoplastic markings.”
Funding is expected to come from the 2019 Street Maintenance budget of $774,455. It has some cost savings in it after no bids were approved for diamond grinding this year. Those bids were all well above staff estimates.
“We’ll probably utilize a good majority of that (saved) money for this. It’s money well spent,” Dougherty says. “We have to get these street markings done. It’s a safety issue.”