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November 5, 2019 12:45 PM, EST

Kansas DOT Selects 22 Projects Through Cost Share Program

Kansas bridge A deficient bridge near Osawatomie, Kan. (Orlin Wagner/Associated Press)

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State leaders recently announced 22 projects have been selected as part of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Cost Share Program, which is meant to provide funding for transportation initiatives.

The Cost Share Program, created during the most recent legislative session, is designed to rely on funding from various levels of government and private sector groups. KDOT announced Nov. 5 that the 22 projects represent nearly $74 million in state, local, federal and private investment.

“These projects demonstrate communities’ commitments to improve the quality of life for their citizens and to do so in a practical manner,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “This program also demonstrates the great things that happen when communities and the state work together.”

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly

Kelly

Officials selected projects in all six of Kansas’ transportation districts. Projects encompass a range of efforts to improve safety and mobility, relieve congestion, and support job retention.

Selected projects include intersection improvements at a juncture in Lansing, pavement patching along multiple roads in Allen County, highway bridge improvements in three neighboring southwestern Kansas counties and runway repairs at the Salina Regional Airport.

“There is pent-up demand for transportation investments across our state,” Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz said. “I am excited to provide resources to help build safer, healthier and livelier communities that Kansans, young and old, want to make their forever homes.”

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.

Kansas Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz

Lorenz

The agency’s Cost Share Program has been popular among local government agencies. KDOT reported Oct. 21 that it had received 92 applications for funding.

City and county government agencies are eligible to apply 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 is given to applications that commit more than the minimum match amount.

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

Kelly, who was elected governor 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. According to KDOT’s press release, the next call for applications for the second round of projects will be announced next year.

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