LS truck vigilante ticketed on Hook Road

Frustration with construction traffic leads to incident

rpulley@lsjournal.comAugust 7, 2014 

Road construction in Lee’s Summit tests the patience of residents, and one Lee’s Summit woman decided last week that she’d had enough.

Cathy Eisenhauer, concerned about repeated damage to Hook Road caused by heavy trucks, staged a one-woman protest. She knows it cost her two traffic tickets.

She said trucks hauling materials past her home at 1717 SW Hook Road smashed a six-inch depression into the surface and cars traveling the road were “bottoming out.”

The dump trucks were hauling rock to the city’s reconstruction of Hook Road from Ward Road to Missouri 291.

Eisenhauer said trucks could easily have taken a slightly longer route, from Hook down Pryor Road to Missouri 150 then back to the Hook road construction site, which takes a few minutes longer, but without damage because Pryor Road is capable of carrying heavy vehicles.

She said that after asking the city to stop the truck traffic, seeing the road repaired twice before and complaining to the city’s repair crews, she took matters into her own hands.

“I’m not normally one complaining. It was difficult for me to make that decision and stand up and be counted,” said Eisenhauer, who wonders what it’s costing the city to repair the asphalt three times.

She put up her own traffic cones and a cardboard sign saying “Slow.” She said Lee’s Summit police came out July 31 to talk to her about the situation, but the next day there was little if any change in the truck traffic and the road was being crushed again.

She took a golf cart, then her own car, down the road and parked on the side, waiting on the trucks to leave a rock stockpile and head for the construction site. As she saw them coming, she’d pull out and slowly drive down Hook Road, blocking them.

“That way their extra two minutes wasn’t going to help,” Eisenhauer said.

Police were called.

She got a ticket for parking on the curb and for an expired license plate, which had just run out that morning. Her husband forgot to renew it. She said she’s planning to fight that ticket.

“I think I’m going to stand in front of the judge and explain what happened,” Eisenhauer said.

Dena Mezger, acting director of public works, said the city’s ordinances don’t restrict truck traffic on its streets and the situation was unfortunate. She said that she was not aware of Eisenhauer contacting the city before the incident. She said an inspector called police because there could be an accident.

The repairs to Hook Road due to truck damage cost the city about $3,000, Mezger said.

Mezger said public works employees talked with the contractor, Emery Sapp & Sons Inc., which agreed to start using a detour. She said empty trucks, which aren’t as heavy, may still use Hook Road for the return trip.

Eisenhauer said she’s glad the contractor is cooperating and most of the truck traffic is gone.

“I’m going to give them some cookies to tell them I appreciate that,” Eisenhauer said.

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