The Kansas Department of Transportation says that they simply don’t have the funds fix Kansas City’s notorious “Suicide Curve”.
The curve on westbound I-70 in Kansas City, Kansas, has come under increased scrutiny this week after a motorcyclist lost his life on Sunday. Thirty-seven year old Casey Bezdek lost control on the curve and crashed his motorcycle through the guardrail, falling nearly 100 feet to his death.
But the curve isn’t just hazardous for motorcyclists — it has also taken out several cars and numerous semi trucks over the years.
Kansas City resident Leo Eilts has captured several Suicicide Curve crashes on video over the past few years.
The problem with the curve is twofold — for one thing, it was built decades ago and the design is not optimal for modern cars and trucks. For another thing, the posted speed limit on the curve is 35 m.p.h., but many drivers simply take the curve too quickly and wind up paying the price for their impatience.
Said Eilts, “People aren’t accustomed to an interstate highway having a curve of that magnitude built into it. If you’re going to make that turn and you’re going more than 30 miles per hour, you’re liable to be in trouble.”
Several design concepts have been proposed to improve safety on “Suicide Curve” ranging in cost from $70 million to $199 million. However, KDOT reportedly lacks the funds to begin work on the project due to the fact that Governor Sam Brownback has diverted money earmarked for transportation into the state’s general budget.
A KDOT representative said that if there were sufficient funds available, a reconstruction project might already be underway.