After social media backlash, Spire completes KC street project
Following public criticism and a recent threat from a city official to stop issuing work permits, Kansas City utility provider Spire Energy announced Friday that a portion of Linwood Avenue affected by one of his projects had been fully reopened to traffic.
In a tweet, the gas company said the four lanes had been replaced and scratched, sharing a photograph of the work in Linwood and Forest. Spire also noted that the portion of the project, which began in April, was completed before the October deadline set out in its municipal permit.
Spire’s update came after a social media spat sparked by Kansas City manager Brian Platt, who took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to publicly denounce the company for “blatant disregard” new city rules regarding street excavation. The city manager challenged the digging of a utility trench on Linwood shortly after the city repaved the street.
In a follow-up tweet on Friday, Platt acknowledged the company’s work for this stretch of Linwood.
“Thank you @spire_energy for restoring all four lanes in this section of Linwood and working to resolve other safety issues related to street closures – these certainly meet our new #spirestandards,” wrote the city manager.
Kansas City implemented an updated set of road maintenance regulations last year aimed at preventing potholes and other damage to streets. A provision of the ruleset was intended to improve coordination between city and utility crews when it comes to roadwork.
Earlier this week, Spire leader Stephen Mills told The Star that the company was trying to coordinate as well as possible with the city. He added that Spire was awaiting information on the specific steps to be taken to resolve the issue.
“We complied with the new street cut ordinance,” Mills said at the time, adding, “As far as we’re concerned, we did what we had to do.”
The Star’s Natalie Wallington contributed to this report.