Positive Connections: Meet the man paving the way to smoother Wichita streets

Positive Connections

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Have you ever wondered who is responsible for fixing and maintaining the more than 1,500 streets in Wichita?

There are dozens of people involved in the process, however, there is one man who oversees a majority of the work.

“Some people have a statue in the park, I have a lot of roads that said I did a good job,” laughed City of Wichita Project Manager Joe Francoeur.

Francoeur, a KU grad, has risen in the City of Wichita ranks, having started his career in 1980 as a seasonal worker, mowing city-owned lawns.

“I started full time in ’85 in the engineering and materials lab and from there I went into maintenance and became pavement management administrator,” Francoeur said.

During his several-decade career, Francoeur has learned how pavement performs over time. Wearing inspector and engineering hats, he has a knack for how to maintain, resurface and repair the streets thousands of people depend on each day.

“A city’s infrastructure is very important. Nobody gets anywhere without it being right,” Francoeur explained. “This city is mine. I have pretty much fixed every street in here at least once.”

Francoeur said a lot goes into each street repair, from assessments to the bid process and finally the work. He said 2021 is a big year for Wichita.

“We are having a major arterial overlay program and the citizens will notice that many, many, many streets are being overlayed, so we are in the process of prepping those right now, but I think I have at least 28 street segments that are major arterials that are half to a mile long. It is really huge, so Wichita will see a big improvement,” he said.

As far as timelines for each project, Francoeur said it is dependent on two key things.

“The size of the company doing the work and the amount of the repairs needed will dictate how long it takes,” he said.

No matter the length of time, he said he is proud of the work he and his crews have accomplished in Wichita. He hopes to keep rolling right along.

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