Potholes in Manhattan are excessive, in need of repair, K-State students say

Students at K-State have been irritated by the many potholes around campus. While the responsibility for filling some of them belongs to the city, others must be repaired by K-State facilities. (Brooke Barrett | Collegian Media Group)

Everybody hits a bump in the road from time to time, but if you have done a lot of driving around Manhattan in the past few months, it’s likely that you hit them pretty regularly.

Potholes are present on many roads in Manhattan. Many are the result of cracks forming during ice storms in the winter, and several are almost unavoidable according to students at Kansas State University.

“I feel like the main problem is that the potholes are most concentrated within the busiest streets in Manhattan, especially for college students,” Aaron Gallaway, junior in finance, said. “They can cause a lot of difficulties, especially if they’re not fixed and start affecting the cars driving on them.”

Emily Brummett, junior in human ecology, agreed that the abundance of potholes can take a toll on vehicles.

“A few times, I thought I was about to pop my tire because some of them are so deep, and you don’t really see them coming,” Brummett said. “They sneak up on you. You’re just driving along, and suddenly your tire’s dead.”

Gallaway said potholes impact Manhattan residents daily — and they don’t just cause issues for drivers.

“For me, as someone who bikes to campus, College Heights and Sunset [Avenue] are struggles,” Gallaway said. “It’s very difficult for me to ride my bike just a quarter of a mile down College Heights, and I don’t think that should be the case.”

Brummet also cited the intersection of Claflin Road and Denison Avenue as a pothole-heavy location.

“I don’t mind a couple rough spots, but some of the roads around town are getting pretty bad,” Brummett said.

Vivienne Uccello, public information officer for the City of Manhattan, said potholes are an issue not only in Manhattan, but all over the Midwest.

“The most heavily traveled areas, Kimball and Anderson [avenues], have seen the worst conditions,” Uccello said. “These routes have a higher frequency of drivers and the heaviest loads with large truck traffic.”

Main roads aren’t the only spots where potholes can be found in Manhattan; K-State parking lots also see a lot of wear and tear. A large pothole on the back side of the Derby Dining Complex was recently filled.

However, Uccello said issues with private parking lots and campus roads are outside of the city’s jurisdiction.

“Areas that are K-State property will be repaired by the university,” Uccello said. “Some streets on campus, such as Denison, will be repaired by the city. However, streets like Claflin from Denison to North Manhattan are solely K-State’s responsibility.”

Uccello said repairing roadways is a high priority for Manhattan’s Public Works Department and that the city has repaired more than 4,000 potholes since January. However, weather conditions don’t always allow for maintenance to take place.

“With the warmer temperatures, repairs have been kicked into high gear,” Uccello said. “We’ll also be able to make more permanent solutions by milling and re-laying asphalt in the worst areas with both our city crews and outside contractors.”

Uccello said a lot of work will be dedicated to street maintenance this spring, summer and fall.

For more information on plans and details, check the Active Projects section of the City of Manhattan website, or find them on Twitter @cityofmhk.