Anyone who’s been in Great Bend for long has undoubtedly encountered Railroad Avenue, from Main to Washington.
For those who grew up here and learned to drive in the community, there was surely the first time they swerved onto the street, only to wonder if they had somehow wandered off the beaten path, as they saw the pavement slope into the center and the familiar curbing disappear.
But there’s a reason for all that.
There are no curbs on the road because of the heavy truck traffic that has to exit the road into businesses all along the stretch and that are too large for normal drive ways.
Still, over the years, the stretch that is split between the city and county, has gotten in poor repair and now the two governments will cooperate on improving that.
They are going to go together to do an asphalt overlay that won’t solve all the problems, but will make the road better.
And it’s an important cooperative effort between the city and county.
There may well be other such project that would be appreciated by the community, such as the cooperation on the improvement of other shared roads around the city, but few that will carry as much heavy traffic.
Since the national and state economic downturn make it unlikely that we are going to see major new transportation program grants in the foreseeable future, Great Bend is not likely to have a chance as the southern bypass that was sought for so long.
The money is simply not going to be there in the time any of us will see, so we will need to make the best with what we have available.
For now, that is going to mean a paving job on Railroad Avenue and the taxpayers of Great Bend and Barton County should realize how lucky they are to have the engineers and construction staffs on hand to accomplish this improvement.
— Chuck Smith