Infrastructure may not be exciting, but it is a core responsibility for our city government. Properly working infrastructure ensures our community has safe drinking water, efficient waste management services, safe and functioning streets for bicyclists and cars, parks for recreation, and safe sidewalks and trails for walking and travel around our community.
Yet many needs compete for the city’s limited resources. Our infrastructure and budget have been adversely impacted by not keeping infrastructure at the top of the list of needs. The costs are significantly higher when we do not properly invest in the timely evaluation and maintenance of these systems.
I have focused on finding ways to increase the funding spent to maintain our infrastructure. One big improvement is investment in systems to better evaluate the status of streets and stormwater drainage pipes. The results are starting to show. These Stormwater and Streets graphs demonstrate that we are dedicating more funds to key infrastructure needs.
We are now using a technology called LIDAR (Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging) to better evaluate the condition of our streets. While the previous system relied on professional observation and judgment of a street’s surface condition, LIDAR allows us to see the condition of a road’s subsurface. I advocated for the use of LIDAR, a technology that provides data-driven results.
Our entire storm water drainage system is now being videotaped to determine the areas that need repair or replaced. This will provide the data needed to prioritize the maintenance and reconstruction needs of the system.
Both of these systems are examples of my commitment to using data-driven information to conduct the evaluation, maintenance and reconstruction of Lawrence’s vital infrastructure. This allows us to prioritize the work for effective infrastructure maintenance and responsible and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
Did you know this about Lawrence:
– There are over 34,000 sanitary sewer service connections that treats an average of 10.3 million gallons of wastewater every day!
– We have 56 parks spanning 3800 acres, 86.3 miles of paths.