Back in 1960, Great Bend and Barton County authorities agreed to work together on improving Railroad Avenue from Washington to Main Street.
They even set a formula for how much each entity was responsible for.
The city is responsible for 29.7 percent and the county for 70.3 percent.
However, over the years the understanding of just what would be done to improve the road and carries such a large flow of industrial traffic has been less scientific.
Now the county and city are agreeing to share the costs on a project that will at least make the road smoother and could even help with drainage issues — provided the city gets rain that needs to drain.
As City Administrator Howard Partington noted Monday night, only so much can be done to the street without negatively impacting that drainage design and the proposed four-inch asphalt over law would allow for that.
The problems with this stretch of Railroad Avenue includes the need for it to carry a great deal of heavy traffic through the area and for the businesses along the road.
County Administrator Richard Boeckman explained the engineering plan for the improvement calls for there to be a four-inch asphalt overlay to improve the surface of the road.
It is expected the materials will cost about $100,000 and the work will be shared between the county’s Road and Bridge Department and the city’s Street Department.
Boeckman added it’s estimated that to do all of the improvements that have been considered for that stretch would cost about $1.1 million.
This would be a compromise that would last for years and could be improved as other county paving projects are worked on.
Property owners along Railroad Avenue were supportive of the plan.
Terry Esfeld said improvements have been put off for long enough, and this plan will at least improve conditions.
Rusty Carson agreed, noting that suggestions to put curb and gutter along this stretch would not work because of the amount of heavy truck traffic that has to put in and out of the businesses all along the road.