Monday, September 30, 2019

Lives are on the line in work zones

Kerry Bramhall, third from left, and his family.
My name is Kerry Bramhall and I am the District One, Area One Office Coordinator at the Horton KDOT office in northeast Kansas. I have worked at KDOT for 19 years, three of which I was a traveling Survey Technician on a statewide survey crew. I have had several close calls during my time at KDOT.
The first close call I remember quite well. We were surveying some section corners north of Parsons. We had our signs out, and two flaggers flagging traffic in a long, flat and well-visible area. I was in the middle of the road holding a range pole on a section corner while my co-worker was getting readings from it. I saw a semi coming toward me with a line of traffic behind him.
As he approached, the semi behind him proceeded to pass in the work zone, leaving me squeezed between the two trucks. The passing semi’s mirror hit my hand taking the range pole with it. I watched as the range pole went flying ahead, thinking that could have been me.
The worst of my fears came in September of 2007. I was doing paperwork in our office in Seneca when my Construction Engineer, Kevin Palic, came out and said, “Get in the car we are going to Lawrence,” in a panicked voice. As I got in the car, Kevin told me that one of my co-workers who had been doing a project in Lawrence had been hit by a reckless driver. We drove as fast as we could to get there.
As we arrived, we found out that he did not make it. I volunteered to drive my other co-worker home who was with him at the time of the accident. The whole trip home we talked about what a great guy and friend our co-worker was. All that I could think about was if the traveling public only knew how much that hurt to lose a buddy, they might be more aware in work zones.
One of my other duties here at KDOT is plowing snow in the winter months. I have had several close calls with the snowplow truck. This last year, I was plowing snow at night in what I would call a blizzard. Visibility was next to nothing. As I was plowing, a car proceeded to pass me as I’m sure they thought I was not going fast enough, and they were in a hurry.
When the car got past me, I could barely see the taillights as they spun around in front of my snowplow blade and ended up in the ditch. All I could think was I could have hit them, or they could have hit me.
If you are reading this, please slow down and pay attention to your surroundings in a work zone or behind a snowplow, because at the end of the day we would like to go home to our families just like you do.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Working together leads to safe travel

Col. Herman T. Jones
By Colonel Herman T. Jones
At the Kansas Highway Patrol, one of our top priorities is to reduce the number and severity of traffic crashes from impaired driving across the state of Kansas. Through our traffic enforcements and partnerships with statewide organizations, agencies and activities, we are dedicated to keeping our highways and roadways safe. With our selective enforcements and public service announcements reminding drivers to move over and slow down for highway and roadway officials, drive alert, drive sober, and buckle up, we can significantly reduce fatal crashes.
Keep these enforcements in mind while you travel to your next destination:
While you are driving, put away your phones and other distractions. No text message or phone call is more important than your life or the lives of those around you. We all have loved ones that we want to come home to at the end of the day.
In addition, make sure to move over and slow down when you are approaching first responders, construction workers or anyone pulled over on the shoulder of a roadway. Dial *47 (KHP) or *582 (KTA) if you see someone in need of assistance on the highway or turnpike.
Always remember to drive alert. If you feel tired, pull over and call for assistance. Prepare in advance if you think you will be drinking by arranging a ride share service, taxi or designated driver to get you, your friends and your family home safely.
Finally, be sure you and your passengers always buckle up before driving anywhere. Don’t do this just to avoid costly citations. Do it because it will likely save your life.
Through our partnerships with programs like Put on the B.R.A.K.E.S., and organizations such as KDOT and the Kansas Turnpike Authority, we strive to improve the quality of driving in our state. With your help, every traveler can feel safe as they commute to and through the great Sunflower State.

Colonel Herman T. Jones is the Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol.



Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Law enforcement visit is a parent’s worst nightmare

By John Groves
A call late at night or in the early morning hours most of the time is not good news. Anytime a law enforcement officer visits your home unexpectedly, it's normally not good news either. 
On March 11, 2011, at 10:30 p.m. at night, we got one of those visits.  When I invited the officers in, I asked them, “this isn’t good, is it?”  They were there to inform us our son, Matt Groves, had just been killed by a drunk driver. 
There is no way to prepare yourself for news like this. This is a parent’s worst nightmare. Matt was only 21 years old, he just had his birthday three weeks before he was killed.  Matt was a kind, fun loving young man who was always willing to help anyone that needed it. The night he was killed, the officers told us that Matt and his friend, Teddy Martin, were helping someone in need. A young woman, Alicia Allen, was on her way home from work.  Her car had run out of gas, and they were trying to help her get it off the road and to a safe place.
While they were pushing the car, a drunk driver hit them from behind. The impact killed Matt and severely injured Teddy. If Teddy had been just one step further to the left, he very well could have joined Matt as a fatality.
Matt was always willing to help anyone who needed it.  Matt was a true Christian - he attended The First Christian Church in Leavenworth and he was the sound board operator for the late service at our church. Matt was also a deacon in our church.  He was one of the youngest deacons ever elected.  He not only helped with the services and music at his home church, he helped at another church down the street, New Hope Assembly of God, where he had made friends. They had a group of young people that formed a very close relationship.  Matt played bass guitar there and helped with the youth services on Wednesday night.  This church was also devastated about Matt’s death. The youth minister and one other member of that church visited us the day after the crash and volunteered to be pallbearers at his funeral.
We always knew that Matt had friends, however the day of his visitation and funeral we found out that Matt had hundreds of friends.  It was standing room only in the church the day of his funeral.  Matt loved life and enjoyed it fully in the time he was on this Earth. He was becoming quite a man, loved by everyone. Matt had no enemies. We WILL go forward, but with heavy hearts because a piece of our family has been taken from us.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my son Matt.  I think, "where would he be today if he was still here?”  Would he be a 911 Dispatcher? He had taken the test but only missed passing by a few points. The people told him not to give up, to come back and take the test again in three months, because he scored higher than half the applicants.  Would he be a father, would he be a minister, a member of the military, who knows, he always wanted to lend a helping hand to people.
I’ll close with this - the person who is going to jail for a DUI eventually gets to come home. The victim’s family is the one who serves the LIFE sentence.

John Groves and his wife, Teresa, advocate for strict DUI enforcement and are from Leavenworth.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Help #STOPTrackTragedies during Rail Safety Week

By Lisa Mussman
Public Affairs Manager
Northwest Kansas 

It happens almost every three hours in the United States: a person or vehicle is hit by a train. And while these incidents affect different families, communities and train crews, they share one thing in common – nearly all of them could have been prevented.

Nearly 2,100 people are killed each year in train-vehicle collisions or by illegally walking, playing or taking photos on or near train tracks. To help raise awareness about train and track safety, Kansas is joining state and local agencies across the country to observe Rail Safety Week from Sept. 22-28.

Rail Safety Week was created in 2017 by Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation and other organizations in response to a need for rail safety education and to empower the general public to stay safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railroad rights-of-way. Different rail safety messages will be delivered throughout the week and OLI will also be sharing stories from its #STOPTrackTragedies public awareness campaign, which highlights the personal stories of those affected by rail incidents.

In 2018, Kansas had 14 rail-related fatalities, with 11 of them being trespass casualties. While those numbers decreased from the previous year, the total number of rail crossing collisions remained the same at 34. 

OLI offers the following rail safety tips for drivers and pedestrians:

• Look and listen for trains when approaching all railroad crossings – obey all signs, warning lights and gates
• Trains are quieter and faster than you think – never try to beat a train!
• It can take up to a mile or more for trains to stop because of their size and weight – avoid distractions when approaching crossings
• Always expect a train on any track, in any direction – any time is train time
• Rail property is private property – walking, playing and taking photos on tracks is illegal and dangerous

For more information on Rail Safety Week and the #StopTrackTragedies campaign, visit

Monday, September 23, 2019

Showcase of joint efforts to suppress wildfires

A helicopter drops 640 gallons of water. This technique can help suppress wildfires. 

By Ashley Tammen
Public Affairs Manager
Northcentral Kansas 
When it comes to suppressing wildfires in our communities, we can never be too prepared as fires can travel quickly over the Kansas grasslands! Last Thursday the Kansas National Guard showcased a demonstration of wildland firefighting capabilities in Saline County. Training on these capabilities is being conducted to build readiness in order to support local and State agencies during the wildland firefighting seasons, which takes place during the drier months of the year.

Lieutenant Colonel Larry Leupold says they hope to take some relief off local fire departments that may need some help in the event of a wildland fire. The training allows them to increase their capabilities and capacity to help local communities. The showcase included demonstrations on brush support, ground support, water tender and aerial suppression capabilities.

Brush support includes fire suppression to protect structures or wildland within the fire area and efforts to prevent fires from crossing established fire lines. The brush tank is equipped with a poly tank of water, which can pump at a rate of 300 gallons per minute and the side winder cannon up front can be operated from within the cab for suppressing fires.

National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Jason Garr demonstrates how a helicopter and Bambi bucket can fight
wildfires. Wild fire season takes place during the driest months of the year. 

When it comes to ground support to suppress the fire, nothing is overlooked including equipment standards, physical fitness standards, experience, and personnel qualification standards. Personnel must possess an accepted inter-agency certification known as a Red Card or Incident Qualification Card when arriving at an incident.

Although the personal protective equipment worn by ground support may look simple to most, it is tested to meet red card qualification standards to facilitate inter-operability— safety first!

The Bambi tank is used for dipping into large pools of water where there must be at least six-seven feet so the tank can be filled completely. 

The water tender team consists of six personnel, a heavy truck with a 6,000-gallon water trailer haul system, and a 20,000-gallon dip tank with a pump and hoses. It takes about 30 minutes to empty the large tank while it pumps out 550 gallons per minute!

The most fascinating demonstration to watch was the aerial suppression demonstration. This fire-fighting capability consists of a UH-60 helicopter, a pilot, co-pilot, crew chief and Bambi bucket equipment. The Bambi tank is used for dipping into large pools of water where there must be at least six to seven feet of water so the tank can be filled completely. 

Once the Bambi tank is filled it is transported to the fire via helicopter, making proximity to water a critical source. The Bambi buckets hold 640 gallons of water, which can be released at variable speeds to maximize attacking a fire line.

With the increased capabilities of local and state agencies across your communities you can take comfort in knowing that Kansas is more prepared to tackle the unexpected tragedy of a wildfire! “It’s about our families, everything starts local and ends local,” said Lt. Leupold.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Stay curious: How STEM opportunities can change the world

By Mallory Goeke
Communications Specialist
Our country and our world are experiencing technological advances at a rapid pace. We often hear stories about the next new invention that improves lives makes headlines.
The roads we traveled on, the water system that we drink from, and even items like our smart phones had to be invented and engineered by someone. Who knows? maybe someone who reads this article could create the next big invention.

Any new discovery or piece of technology requires knowledge and the critical thinking skills to create change. And that is where Science, Technology, Engineering and Math comes in. 
According to the U.S. Department of Education, STEM programs help us understand the world by preparing students with the knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information and interpret data to make decisions and choices that will lead us into the future. 

In an article by the PEW Research Center, STEM occupations have grown 79% since 1990. That means there are 17.3 million jobs related to these fields today. Jobs in scientific and technological fields pay well and those who work in those jobs are making a big difference and saving lives.

Students today may not realize it now, but the choices they make and the classes they attend will have an impact on the world around them. Now is the time to begin thinking about how they can create change.

Students had the opportunity to attend a STEM Camp sponsored by KDOT at Washburn University earlier this summer.

The Smithsonian Institute presented this scenario: There are four billion people on the planet who use a mobile phone. In the past two years, 90% of all of Earth’s data has been generated. The future is already here and citizens of the world who are fluent in STEM are needed.

In January 2018, The PEW Research Center found the U.S. placed 38/71 in math and 24th in science. One reason could be that some students do not expand past what is familiar and comfortable.

Change and growth takes time and it means stretching past our comfort zones to learn and improve. We should be expanding our limits and learning new skills.

After all, if we had never looked to the stars and felt unsatisfied with not knowing what’s beyond our atmosphere, would we ever have made it to the moon and beyond?

Changing the world knows no age limitation. A recent story from NPR featured Nora Keegan, a fifth grader who wanted to make a difference for children who were overwhelmed by the noise that hand dryers produce. Using a professional decibel meter, she visited more than 40 public restrooms between 2015 and 2017. She discovered that public hand dryers do produce noise that exceeds 100 decibels, which can lead to hearing loss, learning disabilities and ruptured ear drums. 

Nora is 13 now, and her studies were recently published in the Canadian Journal Paediatric and Child Health.

So, whether you are a student, entering the work force or you’re already have a career it’s never too late to learn something new.  

We encourage everyone to stay curious and look for opportunities where they can change their world.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Cruise control: Setting the speed limits in Kansas

By Ashley Tammen
Public Affairs Manager
Northcentral Kansas

When it comes to setting the speed limits in Kansas, “Increase the speed” is often a statement we hear the most. As you may already know, safety is a top priority for KDOT, and we look at many factors to determine a safe speed for a road or highway. KDOT determines the speed limit of a roadway through a speed study which may be conducted multiple times in a given year.

What is a speed study?

A speed study is done using a radar gun to collect speed data.  Normally, this data is collected during off-peak hours from about 50 random vehicles on a given roadway in each direction at free flow speeds. The vehicles are selected at random to avoid bias in the study results and the 85th percentile speed is the speed at which 85% of the drivers are traveling at or below. The 85th percentile speed reflects the safe speed as determined by a large majority of drivers.

All factors considered!

Many factors are considered in speed studies including crash history, roadway geometry, activity within the driving environment, and politics or state law. According to Brian Gower, Bureau Chief of KDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety and Technology, one of the most important factors considered in a speed study is engineering judgement from a traffic engineer. The engineering judgment of a traffic engineer may determine, if any, of the factors in a speed study warrant a downward adjustment of the 85th percentile speeds.

Establishing realistic speed limits

Often, speed studies may not result in a speed change as this may not be the best decision for everyone such as the speed study conducted in February 2016 of K-9 from Beloit to Clifton. Other times, only sections of a roadway may result in a speed zone change like the speed study conducted in May, 2015 of U.S. 81 and K-9 in Cloud County where it was recommended only to raise the speed limit at State Street. Once all variables are considered, a safe and reasonable speed limit is established for a given road section.

Now that you’ve learned all this you may be wondering how we determine when a speed study will be conducted or who initiates the request for a speed study. Anybody can initiate a traffic study or check when the last one was completed, simply contact your local KDOT office.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Summer recap: Large jaws make quick work of old bridge

By Tom Hein 
Wichita Public Affairs Manager
Have you ever wondered what goes into demolishing a bridge?

Using machinery that resembles Jurassic Period predators, a deconstruction crew removed a 1960s era bridge over I-235 in north Wichita earlier this summer, which required a weekend shut down of a 3-mile section. 

The removal of the bridge makes way for continuous auxiliary lanes between North Meridian Avenue and Broadway. 

The section of I-235 under construction is also part of K-96

A 1960s era bridge was demolished over I-235 in north Wichita earlier this summer. 
To protect I-235 from the heavy equipment used for the demolition, a dirt cushion was placed over the concrete lanes. After the bridge was down, removing the debris took several hours as concrete and steel were separated and hauled away.

To protect the road surface from the heavy equipment a dirt cushion was placed over the concrete lanes.

Dirt was also removed from the bridge abutments and will be used to construct the new ramps at the I-235 and Broadway interchange.

In order to construct new ramps at the I-235 and Broadway interchange, dirt had to be removed. 
The average daily traffic for this area is between 45,000 and 52,000 vehicles per day.

The Green Project is the first phase of the Wichita North Junction reconstruction.

To find out more about the project, see the Green Project fact sheet here  .

 A fact sheet for the North Junction phases can be found here 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Motoring Monday - Bird watching across Kansas

The Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway in Barton, Stafford and Reno counties
in central Kansas has lots of areas to watch birds.
Bird watching is a big pastime in Kansas. The state has two important stopover sites for migrating birds and has recorded more than 460 bird species, making it the 16th most popular bird state in the country, according to the Audubon website.
The top two places to see birds includes the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. The spring and fall migration times are especially good for seeing a variety of birds pass through the state.
The Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area is
the largest wetland in the interior U.S.
The Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area is a central flyaway for millions of birds. This Kansas wetland area is the largest in the interior U.S. with 41,000 acres. Some 320 species of birds frequent Cheyenne Bottoms, including the Bald Eagle, Whooping Crane, Peregrine Falcon, Least Tern and Piping Plover.
The Quivira National Wildlife Refuge includes more than 22,000 acres and is managed primarily to provide migratory birds with food, water and shelter. More than 300 species of birds have been seen on the refuge at different times of the year.
According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, there are lots of great spots to watch birds. The top 10 locations are:
1 - Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area
2 - Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
3 - Cimarron National Grassland
4 - Baker Wetlands Research and Natural Area
5 - Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway
6 - Historic Lake Scott State Park and Wildlife Area
7 - Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area
8 - Konza Prairie Biological Station
9 - Toronto Reservoir, Cross Timbers State Park and Toronto Wildlife Area
10 - Wilson Reservoir, State Park and Wildlife Area
State parks are also great places to see birds. According to KDWPT, in the late winter, Lovewell Reservoir, State Park and Wildlife Area can host up to one million snow geese in flocks large enough to be seen on weather radar.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Safety first — For your family and mine: New safety slogan and logo announced

By Mallory Goeke

Communications Specialist
KDOT Headquarters
“Safety First — For your family and mine.” Is the new safety slogan at KDOT.  With the help of the newly-formed Statewide Safety Committee and the Executive Staff, the slogan by Bonnie Hirsh, Administrative Specialist in Dodge City, was selected this summer.

A new slogan needs a new logo and the Statewide Safety Committee worked with internal staff to create the logo which will be used in a variety of ways to help share the important message of safety. The logo was conceptualized by Chief Geologist Kyle Halverson and designed by Communications Specialist Mallory Goeke.

Catherine Patrick, Special Assistant to the Secretary said that KDOT hopes to achieve a safer workplace; ultimately with the goal of zero injuries and fatalities.

“We want it to remind us of the importance of safety in all the work we do at KDOT,” Patrick said. “We want the message to encourage employees to stop and think about doing things safely; not only for themselves, but for their families and our family; as we perform all the various types of work at KDOT.

Halverson said that the concept for the logo came from a series of ideas that the new safety committee had come up with.

“As an agency that covers the entire state, we need to look at safety, not only as a personal obligation, but as an agency obligation,” Halverson said. “So that outline of the state represents that obligation to me. The road is obvious, but I think it means more The road to a safer workplace and the goal to achieve zero accidents and zero fatalities is a long road, but with the proper education and awareness we can get there.”

Patrick said that the highway was a universal symbol that represented the work we do in designing, building and maintaining our infrastructure and the relationship that ties us all together, not only within KDOT but with the traveling public.

When the logo was presented to the Statewide Safety Committee, we all just knew “this logo is the one,” Patrick said.

There are many plans to utilize the logo moving forward that will help spread this important message:

“Safety first— For your family and mine.” 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

5 insights into “big dance” of KDOT road-striping crew

A work truck, far left, passes the KDOT paint crew convoy near Pratt.
By Tim Potter,
Public Affairs Manager
South Central Kansas 
Kansas highways are striped with paint: yellow lines to guide motorists and to aid in preventing collisions, white lines to mark the road’s edge.

It takes skill and coordinated teamwork to put those lines down safely and neatly, with reflective paint that drivers can see in different conditions. As one Kansas Department of Transportation paint crew supervisor says of the work, “It’s a big dance.”

Here’s a look at how and why those lines get methodically painted, from a recent ride in the Pratt area with the KDOT District Five road-striping crew based in Hutchinson:

This KDOT paint crew truck has an attenuator on the back. The attenuator is a safety device designed to absorb impact. It’s like a gigantic rear bumper.

Insight No. 1:  Safety is a priority partly because the paint truck leading the slow-moving convoy of three crew trucks rolls only at about 8 mph when spraying the paint.

To help prevent faster-moving motorists from colliding with each other or with the KDOT trucks, the District Five crew positions three trucks so they work in concert and help shield one another.

A truck in the rear, driven by Christy DeSantis, Equipment Operator Trainee, carries a rear-facing digital display alerting traffic to the paint crew ahead. The rear truck also bears an impact-absorbing assembly called an attenuator. It’s essentially a gigantic rear bumper.

A few years ago, a semi going a highway speed crashed into an attenuator on a KDOT truck on U.S. 50 near Kinsley. The attenuator absorbed so much impact that everyone escaped serious injury, said Chris Craig, District Five Paint Crew Supervisor.
A second, middle truck also carries a rear-facing alert message and another attenuator. “I’ve had close calls where the truck’s almost been hit” from behind, said Allen Palmatier Sr., Equipment Operator Senior and driver of the middle truck.

The two rear trucks help protect the paint crew in the third, lead truck. All three trucks have flashing lights so other motorists can see them.

The idea is to allow vehicles to safely pass the paint convoy. The KDOT drivers keep enough distance between their trucks to allow a passing vehicle to pull in if needed -- but not so much distance as to encourage a line of cars to pull in between the trucks. Sometimes, the KDOT convoy pulls over if traffic becomes too congested.

Through radio headsets, the drivers of the three trucks alert each other to passing and approaching vehicles, whose drivers sometimes illegally pass on both sides, in no-passing zones and on right shoulders.

A sample of the reflective glass beads that are embedded in road stripe paint so traffic lines can be seen by motorists in different conditions.

Insight No. 2.: To be seen by motorists at night or in bad weather, the painted lines are designed to reflect back to motorists. So when the yellow or white paint gets sprayed down, it is embedded with tiny glass beads that are also applied by the truck. The beads give the paint its reflective quality, so it is visible at night and in bad weather.

Onboard-bead containers carry up to 36,000 pounds of beads.
The crew checks to make sure it’s sending out the right concentration of beads.

Palmatier periodically stops and gets out to measure the newly sprayed lines to make sure they are the correct width.

In one previous close call, while outside one of the trucks near Larned, Palmatier said, he had to leap into a ditch to escape. A semi going too fast stopped just inches from the back of his truck’s attenuator.

Insight No. 3: The striping work takes skill and coordination.
Chris Blume, one of the painters, sits in a glass-encased booth on the back of the paint truck. They call the booth “the doghouse.” From a chair on the right side, he peers down and from the side – on the white-line side -- and uses a steering wheel and other visual aids to put new paint and beads down over existing faded lines. The paint shoots and beads drop from carriages extending from both sides of the truck. It takes a practiced skill to be able start and stop the paint at the right instant, in the right configuration: double lines, single lines, curving lines, lines with gaps in between.

Using both hands, Blume flips switches on a control board to operate different paint guns. A black hose from a paint tank in front of the “doghouse” pulses with hydraulic pressure.

By headset, Blume communicates with Craig, the crew supervisor, known by the crew as “Corky.” Craig has been on a paint crew for 17 years. He monitors a screen to make sure he is driving the paint truck on a course to put the paint down right in line.

From the driver’s seat, Craig keeps Blume informed of the configuration of upcoming lines, so Blume will know how and when to apply the paint. Before the paint shoots out, “dusters” mounted on the truck blow away debris so the new paint will adhere. The new paint is noticeably brighter and more reflective.
The communication and coordination required is why Craig calls the work “the big dance.”

Insight No. 4: Sometimes, motorists mess up the fresh paint, and that can create more work for KDOT.

Normally, it takes about 10 minutes for the paint to dry enough for it not to be tracked by cars rolling over it. It takes hours more for it to cure.
Motorists can avoid getting fresh paint on their cars by watching out for paint crews or by avoiding passing.

During one pass over the highway, someone on the crew blurted out over the radio, “Screwing up our paint. … Thank you, buddy!” as a passing semi tracked through fresh paint.

“If they tear it up too much, we go back and redo it,” Craig said. Sometimes, KDOT will have to shut down a lane to grind off the mess. It’s not just about cleaning things up. Tires passing over fresh paint can remove the beads, and they have to be reapplied.

KDOT’s Allen Palmatier Sr. periodically checks to make sure the new painted lines are the correct width.

Insight No. 5: The painting goes on for months and sometimes at night, from around late April often into November and December. The paint can’t be applied if it’s wet, too cold or too windy.

Because of heavy traffic volume on certain highways in Newton or Wichita, the crew works at night. They use lights to illuminate their work.

“It’s like a Christmas tree at night,” Craig said.