Kansas Leaders Issue Funds for 30 Projects Through Cost Share Program

Spring 2021 Cost Share projects
Spring 2021 Cost Share projects. (governor.kansas.gov)

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Kansas officials announced May 26 that $42 million has been invested for transportation projects through the Cost Share Program.

The funding will support 30 transportation construction projects across the state.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is investing $21 million in this cycle of funding, while recipients are contributing a match of $21 million.

The Cost Share Program incorporates funding from various levels of government and private sector groups. The program provides funds to local agencies for transportation projects that improve safety, support job growth, improve mobility and relieve congestion.

“Infrastructure projects like the ones funded through Cost Share are a perfect example of how government can make smart investments that not only make our economy more dynamic and competitive, but also make Kansas a better place to live, work and play,” said Gov. Laura Kelly. “Through this $42 million investment, 30 communities from every corner of our state will have safer roads, increased access to outdoor recreation and the opportunity to modernize important historical landmarks.”

Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz indicated demand for Cost Share Program dollars was especially strong after a challenging year. According to Lorenz, 117 communities requested more than $103 million during this round of funding, which marks the fourth round of the Cost Share program.

During a video announcement, Lorenz said KDOT adjusted selection criteria to take into account the hardships local governments have faced and decreased the community match requirement to 10% for this cycle. Ordinarily, the Cost Share Program requires a minimum 15% nonstate cash match.

“Despite that tough year, I couldn’t be more impressed with the record level of local contribution, proving we are stronger when we work together,” Lorenz said. “Thanks to the KDOT team and our local partners, we are moving quickly to expedite the delivery of projects.”

Lorenz said 20% of the selected projects will be let to construction by this fall and 46% will be let to construction by late spring of 2022.

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

For this cycle, selected projects include a bridge replacement in Labette County, which is in the southeast corner of the state, and drainage and street surfacing improvements in Howard, a city about 40 miles north of the Oklahoma border.

In Butler County, funding will support an improvement project for Haverhill Road, a north-south route. Butler County is located directly east of Wichita.

“It’s an outdated two-lane road that has no turn areas for the trucks and we feel like we need to make a major investment to support the growing refinery operations,” said Butler County Director of Public Works Darryl Lutz, who made remarks in the video announcement. “We see this program as a tremendous opportunity to help give us a little bit more funding to make this happen.”

The Cost Share Program is an element of the Kelly administration’s Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program, known as IKE. Created in the spring of 2020, IKE is a 10-year program under which highway modernization and expansion projects are selected on a rolling basis every two years as a way to address pressing needs and adjust to fluctuating revenues. President Dwight Eisenhower, the program’s namesake, was raised in Abilene, Kan.

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