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11th Street fiasco ………..

This morning while leaving for work and bottoming my car out AGAIN at the bottom of my driveway I have achieved a new level of P---d off at the cities and Meadows Const. total and complete incompetence at handling the sewer project on 11th Street. I have seen goat paths in the third world that were better suited to handle vehicle traffic...as well as goats...than our lovely 11th Street. I will list some observations for you if you have not had the thrilling experience of driving down it lately. Lets start at 11th and High street shall we?

  1. The contractors sliced thru the basketball court then up the bank, across High street and began a mole trail down 11th. The concrete put back to replace the center of the basketball court in short...sucks. Sorry kids if your dribbling your basketball and it shoots off in a funky direction due to landing on the uneven surface...just take it out of bounds or play half court since were to cheap and incompetent to do it correctly.

  2. We have put up road closed barricades...well sort of...one sign we cant find a post for the one end so it just kind of half ass hangs in a yard. Oh and we cant afford putting warning lights on these for night traffic since that would also cost money and require someone to put batteries in them on occasion.

  3. Stay to the west on 11th street as you travel down this boulevard...you see the east side is now gravel. Not well packed gravel that even a goober in the country with a road grader could achieve since Meadows Co. just packs it down with a loader and moves on. For Gods sake dont make it level or driveable...just scatter some rock on it and call it good.

  4. As for debris and construction waste...pieces of pipe....tarps...trash...card board boxes..and other assorted crap, we will just chuck that stuff in your yard. I am the proud recipient of 3 pieces of cut pipe, one tarp, 2 boxes and some other stuff that I am not sure what it was prior to being rained on...thank you city and meadows... As a point of interest for the second week in a row the pile of trash and difficulty of driving up and down the road meant that the garbage truck elected to not stop or attempt to go by my house and didnt pick up my trash. I am pondering which elected officials yard I will deposit my trash in next monday to ensure it is picked up. Hey junior you got some extra space out front for a couple of garbage cans?

  5. Const. vehicles are parked at exactly the spot where the operator ended his day. This of course may mean you end up with a track hoe at the bottom of your driveway...I had this pleasant experience for 10 days over the last 2 weeks. Yep dont worry about a taxpayer getting in and out of his driveway...heck its time to get off WORK!!

  6. Open trenches and safety issues. During the day while work is being done meadows const. just pretty much blocks off the road and drives up and down without regard to vehicles, kids, bike traffic..or the occasional goat that wants to use the path. At the end of the day if we have a trench open we just park on the end of it and put up a plastic fence...on the road side....and some yellow caution tape on the yard side of the hole. And by hole i mean over 12 feet in depth. No warning lights for night traffic, fall hazard protection, anything like that...so watch out driving down 11th or letting your kids play in your yard...they may disappear unexpectedly...Oh they do use a trench collapse shield system for the workers in the hole...when they are not using it they dump it in your yard...nice eh? As for safety while operating equipment we have only managed to hit the power lines a couple of times. And once even managed to knock out Danny McMillans power...sorry Danny...tough luck there....

  7. Materials storage and parking on the job site. Pretty simple approach on this one, will set the manholes in the road...no barriers around those either I mean heck if you cant see that big concrete thing you deserve to hit it. Bundles of pipe are liberally scattered up and down 11th street in various stages of broken open and laying around in yards. Steel bands, wood packing material, and all that stuff is just left where it lays....heck someone will pick it up...Parking...this is my favorite!!!! Meadows employees dont ask they just park on your property wherever they feel like. Hey guys take your food wrappers with ya would ya...they dont pick up the garbage on my street anymore....

  8. Just for my own amusement I tried to play nice with the mayor, city administrator, and city superintendent. Yes thats right I actually played nice... And my responses were as follows. The mayor was nice and offered to pick up my trash. He agreed that 11th is a mess and promised that the cities ENTIRE repaving budget will be spent to repave 11th. Repave....Ken my friend try the word REBUILD...and if you think what the city has budgeted enough money to repave 11th street you are sir sadly mistaken. City Superintendent reaction was yes 11th street is a mess...well duh..... We will clean it up and pick up your trash...gee thanks... City Administrator failed to return my call. This could be my fault since I became lost in the intricate maze of the phone system at city hall.

Well since I am about finished rambling i just felt like sharing the experience of life on 11th with all the citizens of Baldwin. As a taxpayer I think that all of us are entitled to a safe means of moving from A to B on a city street. We are also entitled that construction when done by or for the city that it be done in a safe rational manner. If you drive down 11th street and feel strongly about it...call your elected officials and share your views. This project is a fiasco at best. Over the last 10 years we have had a lot of projects done in this city and this one...without a doubt...has set a new high for total incompetence and poor....ridiculously poor execution...

Ken Hayes....one seriously POed citizen....

April 7, 2010

A goat path formerly known as 11th Street


TheOnlyGreyghost 5 years, 1 month ago

That was an epic rant, Ken, and one that sounds entirely justified. Somehow, I have a feeling that if you were still in city gov't here, the construction company would shape up quickly or face not getting paid due to contract violations (i.e., doing the job with at least a minimum of safe and competent effort).

In my fairly extensive experience, construction workers (with some exceptions, of course) only shape up if somebody sets a bar and holds them to it. If allowed, they will, as you point out, park anywhere, dump their trash anywhere (even if you put out trash cans for them), dump cigarette butts anywhere, and even p--- and s--- anywhere they want.

A contractor I know was outraged to discover that some drywall subs he had hired had used the basement of a house under construction as a toilet (and he found more than puddles) because they were too lazy to go find an actual bathroom.

If the city would read Meadows the riot act, their workers would shape up. If nobody insists or threatens to hit them where it hurts--in the pocketbook--they'll continue to work and act like ignorant slobs. Somebody in the city needs to grow a backbone and tell them that the issues you point out are not tolerable and will NOT be tolerated.

There are a lot of hungry construction outfits that would be glad to take over the job and do it right and with courtesy to neighbors & citizens if these a--clowns can't or won't see reason.


NanCrisp 5 years, 1 month ago

Going after “hungry” construction companies is entirely the problem. You get what you pay for. Instead of looking for a low bid and accepting a company from far away that will not have to stay around and answer for the job they do, how about looking for a good local contractor who’s been in business for at least 10 years and knows how to keep a business going – through quality work and accountability. These “hungry” companies don’t have a clue how to appropriately bid a job, maintain a jobsite or complete a quality job. And their customers don’t have a clue how to select a contractor.


TheOnlyGreyghost 5 years, 1 month ago

All I meant by the term "hungry" was that construction is down right now and there are a lot of good companies that need jobs to keep their men working. No shame in that. If you think that being hungry for work automatically means that a company "doesn't have a clue" you are sadly mistaken. Sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder.

I've known high-dollar outfits that acted like the slobs Ken's talking about and I've known small, hungry (there's that word again) outfits who did amazing, conscienscious work, kept a well-ordered site, and were a flat-out bargain. Hiring the right company has more to do with understanding people than looking at numbers.

It is an employer's market. With, say, 20 interested parties vying instead of 3, the city could conceivably hire someone who was very good--and also very hungry for the work.

Personally, I wouldn't care whether it was someone local or from Olathe, Lawrence, Scranton, or LeLoup.... Having a 66006 zip code does not automatically make someone more deserving or competent. If someone could do a better job than the clowns Ken wrote about, it would be great to see them get that chance. But I doubt anyone at City Hall will insist that Meadows shape up or ship out.


khayes 5 years, 1 month ago

Well I managed to get stuck at the bottom of my driveway this morning so if the city folks think I was upset before I have achieved a whole new level of ticked off. You see at the bottom of the alley infront of my house a 12 inch conduit used to run under 11th street and move the water from the west side of 11th to the east. That was effectively clogged and destroyed by Meadows Const. along with about 8 feet of retaining wall that I had put in. The water now flows freely OVER the top of 11th to get to Tauy Creek. This has turned into a sick joke of a project.


TheOnlyGreyghost 5 years, 1 month ago

Ken, I hope you're chronicling all this in photos. They may come in handy some day--if only to show some future city council why they should not consider bids from this company for some new project.

(Note to self: ugh! Do not type while half asleep unless forum has "edit" option. Meant to type "conscientious" in above post.... Typo jumped out at me this morning.)


Stacy Napier 5 years, 1 month ago

It kills me how the city administrator makes 80K plus yet he never gets out his office to see what really goes on. He is biggest joke of a leader we have.

I loved driving by the other day and saw one of the children that live across from you Ken down in the trench.

Maybe the paper could do a story just like they did when downtown was redone.

I just hope our sewers don't back up after this is all paved over, but I am not holding my breath.


Monkey 5 years, 1 month ago

Call your local OSHA office, it wont help with the city, but it will help keep the safety violations down, and keep the kids from playing in the ditch.


khayes 5 years, 1 month ago

Called OSHA last monday Monkey good thinking though. Also got to watch my 70+ year old neighbor shovel out the conduit under 11th Street infront of his house. They used a backhoe to dig out the one infront of my house obviously because I bitched. But didnt have the sense or the energy to look down the street and see the next one half a block away that was covered over. This project has no city oversight in evidence. Dont we pay a city inspector to do something? This whole thing is a joke and I wish the paper would take some pictures and write an article on it ( BIG HINT JEFF).


defenestrator 5 years, 1 month ago

"This project has no city oversight in evidence. Dont we pay a city inspector to do something?"

I think we pay her to play Minesweeper on her computer all day. She won the 3-county championship in it last year.


TheOnlyDefenestrator 5 years, 1 month ago

Hey look everyone! The same jackass that stole Greyghost's user name from the old site has stolen another! What a real gem this person is! And so original!

Boy, you really had to dig deep to come up with this one though. I haven't posted here since the new site came up, so what now, almost 2 years or so? Hmm...maybe you are someone who has access still to the old site in some way? Myrick is that you pretending to be everyone else?

Regardless, it is pretty pathetic.


jmyrick 5 years, 1 month ago

Oh, boy, another "TheOnly" situation. Thanks for the laugh real defenestrator, but, no, it isn't me. There isn't any access to the old site that I know of, so he must be going by memory. That's at least three stolen identities that I know of.


TheOnlyGreyghost 5 years, 1 month ago

Hey, Def~ Long time! Welcome to the juvenile world of fakeghostfenestrator. Assuming there is only one such mindless, infantile POS and not two or three...

Actually, if there is more than one, they should get together at the High Street park--I think there are three of those spring-animal ride-ons they could squabble over, and lots of cigarette butts in the sand for them to cram in their mouths and chew on.

So, since you're here, what's your take on the 11th St mess? Have you seen what's going on there?


TheOnlyDefenestrator 5 years, 1 month ago

I am inclined to believe that folks will try to get away with as much as you let them...so as long as city admins don't care to hold this company accountable for their actions and work on that street, we only have them to blame (city admins).

I've driven the street out of necessity a few times, each time vowing never to go back until it is done. I feel really bad for those that live off of 11th and don't have a choice.


greyghost 5 years, 1 month ago


I know many won't believe me, but, it ain't me either. Def didn't annoy me near as much as greyghost had, otherwise I would have "stolen" his "identity."

Whoever took on that persona did so back in December 2007, then just sat on it for over two years. Just a stab in the dark, but if I were to make a guess, I would point to a current council person who enjoys having multiple, offensive screen names. Tricky.

But, like I said, many won't believe that it's not me........but I don't give a shat! It's okay if that's what you want to think -- it just adds to my notoriety! Go for it.


TheOnlyGreyghost 5 years, 1 month ago

Def~ Fortunately, I haven't had to use that street during the construction, but I feel for those who live there.

I think everybody knows that there will be disruption and inconveniences during that kind of work, but the issues Ken and others have described go way outside the bounds of what is necessary and reasonable in getting a job done.

Why is it that so many construction workers (obviously, not all) think it's okay to throw their trash wherever they happen to be? Because no one speaks up and insists that they stop being pigs? When I'm about to hire a contractor, I tell him nicely, but firmly, that I expect trash to be placed in receptacles--and that if he feels his crew can't or won't do this, to tell me before we sign anything, as I will have to find a crew who can. This includes cigarette butts, which are extremely toxic to animals that might ingest them.

By making this clear before hiring, I've had 100% cooperation and no hard feelings. People will usually live up to your expectations--especially if you are paying them to do so and you're nice about it. I tolerate their radios (usually tuned to moldy-oldie or country stations and loud enough to rattle the windows) as I realize they will enjoy their work more and get through their day better if they can listen to their music--and it has to be loud to be heard over nail guns or whatever. I don't even mind if they turn their trucks around on the lawn or park all over the place. I can live with minor annoyances. But there's really no good excuse for dumping the Kwik Shop fountain cup or the Mountain Dew cans on the lawn, wadding up the McD's and Taco Bell trash and throwing it wherever it lands, or dropping nasty cig butts all over the property. Nobody should tolerate that. Even if they need to drop something for the moment, they can collect their trash at break or lunch time, or at the end of the day. That's just one of the issues that disgust people on 11th St., and I think it's a valid point.

Oh--and isn't it cute, in a pathetic way, how the mentally-emotionally challenged mistake contempt and scorn for "notoriety"? I suppose it would be cruel to disabuse them of the idea.


khayes 5 years ago

Hey can the residents of 11th street get a reduction on our property tax evaluations since we live on a gravel road now? Im just saying.......


Stacy Napier 5 years ago

Haha Ken I have lived on a gravel road since my house was built. I pay the same taxes as you and the city has no plans to pave my road ever! I am willing to pay to pave it but to no avail

Nice try.


khayes 5 years ago

Well shucks I was just trying to offset the shaft were going to take tonight when the power rates increase.


Gopher 5 years ago

Regarding the gravel road comments in Baldwin. I too live on one of a handful of gravel city streets. Our street homeowners met w/ the city manager about 5 years ago. The city will not asphalt this street without the adjacent landowners chipping in a portion of the cost. What we were told is that each landowner would be accessed a certain amount based on how much linear feet of their property abuts the gravel street. Hardly fair especially for those with large lots. We opted not to partake.

The city rarely if ever adds road rock to this street or even blades it. When they do add rock, it has way too much fines in it. So in the summer its very dusty and when it rains its sloppy. I asked if the city would at least apply a dust retardant on the gravel. I was told its not their policy to do that.


Stacy Napier 4 years, 11 months ago


I would be happy to pay my frontage for it, but since the city would have to put up a chunk too for their property i guess that's the reason they won't do it for my street.

As for rock I put in a neighborhood request every year on the web site and we get new rock after the winter but yes it is a mess with the dust. Call the county, we did one year and they said that we were eligible for their program since we pay county taxes just like the houses outside the city limits.

My guess was you were dealing with our city Dingbat. He only puts out for projects that benefit him. Take pictures of your mud soaked road when it is raining and send to the council. Most of them don't have a clue what our streets are like.


CaseyWright 4 years, 11 months ago

Seriously, when is the road going to be fixed...didn't the flyer say 6 weeks? We are heading into July and the road is still a disaster. Seriously...


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