From the City Manager's Desk

August 27, 2018

Elizabeth the Giraffe born at the Topeka Zoo

On August 21st , Hope the giraffe gave birth to a baby girl named Elizabeth or "Liz."
Hope is a special giraffe at the Topeka Zoo. 8 years ago on July 11, 2010, Hope was born with a severe hyper-extension of both rear fetlocks. Many times, when this happens it is decided for the calf to be euthanized because this condition had not been corrected in giraffe before. However, a vet, Dr. Kamer, had an idea to try something that hadn't been done before. Throughout the course of a few months with casting and recasting, special shoes, and a lot of physical therapy, it worked!
Hope and little Liz are both doing well. You can see them at the Topeka Zoo or watch them on the giraffe cam

Road Construction Update

The image on the right is a list of featured road construction projects for 2018. 
Several days of work were lost last week due to rain. 
Work continuing on: 
  • Microsurfacing. Project is completing its fourth week. A second crew is scheduled to start nighttime work on Sunday (8/26) on arterial and collector streets. The nighttime work will last approximately 2 weeks.
  • SW Gage (21st to 25th).  Full depth concrete panel replacement continued this week.
  • SW Huntoon/Arvonia.  Contractor installing curb and gutter along with pavement on Huntoon near Arvonia.
  • SW 6th between Gage and Fairlawn.  Contractor started installing curb and gutter along with driveways this week.
  • SW 49th – curb and gutter installation is continuing this week.
Street Project Startup and Major Phase Changes:
  • SW 29th – Fairlawn to I-470 will start in September.
  • Two alley projects will start within the next two weeks.
  • Startup of the two mill and overlay projects.

Street Lane Painting 

In the upcoming weeks, traffic operations will be out finishing up long line painting. If you see any of these vehicles working on a street, please be cautious of workers and avoid the wet paint lines as it takes a few minutes to dry.

 Recent Updates 

  • There have been 116 water main breaks this month with 582 breaks year to date. Last year at this time there were 242 total breaks.
  • Members of the Finance Department are pleased to partner once again with Williams Science and Fine Arts Magnet School to provide volunteers once a week to aid in classroom activities.
  • The most recent quarterly financial report can be found at

Wanamaker Sanitary Sewer Force Main

The Wanamaker Force Main has experienced a break on August 22nd. There is a stream and health advisory for Wanamaker Creek, in the area around I-70 west of Wanamaker Road. This includes the grounds of the Kansas Museum of History.
Potential elevated bacteria and contaminants  may be present in the creek due to the  sewage. If you live or have activities near this stream in these locations, do not enter the stream or allow children or pets to enter the stream.
The Topeka Utilities Department is monitoring the creek and conducting sampling at this time.
The Topeka Utilities Department will rescind the advisory once water samples show no health risk and water contact has been deemed safe.
Emergency repairs are underway and construction of the Force Main Replacement is still scheduled for the fall of 2019.

Mayor's Initiative for Puerto Rico 

Mayor De La Isla wants your help to get school supplies for the children of Puerto Rico. 
Donations will be accepted at the Boys and Girls Club. Be sure to specify that the donation is for BGC Puerto Rico. 

Metropolitan Topeka Planning Organization Survey 

The Planning Department hosted two community meetings and launched an on-line survey for public feedback on the Topeka/Shawnee County Transportation Safety Plan sponsored by the Metropolitan Topeka Planning Organization (MTPO) and WSP consultants.
The project involves research of 23,591 crashes between 2010-2016 to ultimately determine how to reduce injuries, fatalities, and substantial economic loss related to crash incidents locally ($193 million annual average). Total crashes in the region are trending up. Much of this is due to driver behavior. Serious injury and fatal crashes are trending down except for pedestrians and bicyclists. For more information and to take the survey that will help develop focus areas for the plan, please visit

Coming up

Brent Trout 

This weekly report is presented to you from the office of City Manager Brent Trout.
This report was produced through our open data portal. We have several other open data portals to help connect you with the work we do, including portals that let you: