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September 10, 2019 12:15 PM, EDT

Kansas DOT Accepting Applications for Cost Share Program

US 40 and 59 bridges over the Kansas River The U.S. 40 and 59 bridges over the Kansas River at Lawrence, Kan. (Voidxor/Wikimedia Commons)

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The Kansas Department of Transportation is accepting applications for its new Cost Share Program, which is meant to provide funding for transportation projects.

The Cost Share Program, created during the most recent legislative session, is designed to rely on state, local and private funding. The program will provide funding to local entities for transportation projects that aim to improve safety, reduce congestion, support economic growth and improve mobility.

KDOT announced that up to $50 million will be available through the program for fiscal 2020. All facets of transportation, including roadway (on and off the state highway system), rail, airport, bicycle and public transit projects, are eligible for Cost Share Program funds. Awarded funds must be used only for construction.

“Creating the Cost Share Program allows us to leverage both state and local dollars to help address important transportation needs across Kansas,” Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz said in a press release. “We look forward to working with Kansas communities to build projects that improve safety and keep the Kansas economy moving.”

Centennial Bridge in Leavenworth, Kansas

Centennial Bridge crosses the Missouri River from Leavenworth, Kan., to Missouri. (Tim Kiser/Wikimedia Commons)

City and county government agencies are eligible to apply for funding through the program. KDOT spokeswoman Jeanny Sharp said that these agencies may have established partnerships with private sector firms.

The program requires a minimum 15% nonstate cash match, although additional consideration will be given to applications that commit more than the minimum match amount.

“While a project may start with a city or county, they can also have private partners involved with it, too,” Sharp told Transport Topics. “We’re just looking to leverage state dollars to help with necessary projects, particularly ones that aid economic development efforts.”

The $50 million to support the program comes from a one-time transfer from the state’s General Fund.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly

Kelly

Gov. Laura Kelly, who was elected in November 2018, has authorized $216 million in sales tax revenue to remain in the state highway fund in fiscal 2020. This funding helped make the Cost Share Program possible.

Besides bolstering this program, the state highway fund will support increased road preservation, assist with completing delayed projects of Transportation Works for Kansas (T-WORKS) and offer new funding opportunities for cities and counties.

Through the highway fund, KDOT was able to reinstate the Local Bridge Improvement Program in August. The initiative, which is meant to help replace and rehabilitate structurally deficient bridges, had been dropped because of budget cuts over the past few years.

KDOT will accept applications for the Cost Share Program on a rolling basis and review them twice annually, in October and March. To be considered in the first review period, applicants must turn in their submissions by Oct. 11. Sharp said KDOT has received several calls from interested agencies seeking to learn more about the program.

Potential projects will be selected based on how they meet program objectives and eligibility requirements. Geographic distribution also will be considered.