SEK will receive millions of dollars for road improvements
PITTSBURG, Kansas – Last week Governor Laura Kelly announced that eight freeway expansion and modernization projects in eastern Kansas – totaling more than $ 297 million in investments – have been committed to construction as part of a bipartite transport plan.
“These eight road improvement projects will improve accessibility and road safety to recruit new businesses and families in eastern Kansas,” Kelly said in a press release. “From day one, we’ve honored our commitment to end the practice of using infrastructure dollars for projects they were never intended for – and using those dollars to directly repair our roads, bridges and expand broadband access.
Three of the eight projects will take place in the southeastern Kansas region, and a total of $ 33 million will be invested in the projects.
Two of the projects involve widening and adding shoulders to the K-7 of the Bourbon / Crawford County line at Girard and the County line at Junction US 69 for a total investment of $ 27 million over a 22 mile stretch of road. The expanding area has been a hotspot for truck drivers in recent years as the narrow road has caused a number of semi-trailer accidents.
The other project is for the US-400 on the Cherokee / Crawford County line. Six million dollars will be invested to add passing lanes on a two-mile stretch of the highway just east of Cherokee.
While Southeast Kansas will benefit from some road improvements, the larger project will take place closer to Topeka and involve I-70.
The largest project, according to the statement, is the Polk-Quincy Viaduct in Topeka and the six-lane I-70 extension from MacVicar Avenue to Topeka Boulevard. At a cost of $ 234 million, “the work will remove a sharp curve on the viaduct while providing improvements for motorists crossing or entering the city center.”
“This week, we are announcing projects totaling nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars as part of the Kelly administration’s transportation plan,” KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz said in the statement. “This significant investment in the state’s transportation infrastructure proves that by listening to the Kansans and working with communities, we can do more projects and identify better ways to do them.”
The other four projects include a divergent diamond interchange at US 40 / K-10 near Lawrence and the addition of passing lanes to sections of US 400 in Greenwood and Neosho counties.
In addition to these eight projects, Kelly also announced that express toll lanes will be officially built on a section of Highway 69 in Overland Park.
“This project will improve accessibility, solve long-term safety concerns and ease traffic jams to recruit new businesses and families in Johnson County,” Kelly said in a statement. “Today’s announcement is further proof that our commitment to the good stewardship of these funds benefits our communities, taxpayers and businesses.
Last month, the Overland Park Council voted in favor of building toll lanes as a way to help prevent congestion along sections of Highway 69.
“US Corridor 69 commuters are frustrated with increasing traffic jams and increasing commute times,” Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach said in the statement. “We need to address these issues if the community and economy of Overland Park is to continue to grow. ”
According to the governor’s statement, the project will keep the two existing lanes – which will remain free for drivers – and will simply add a new third toll lane in each direction from 151st and 103rd streets ”, replace the roadway for 50 years and reconfigure the roads. interchanges at Blue Valley Parkway and I-435.
“This project improves traffic flow for all drivers on US 69,” Secretary Julie Lorenz said in the statement. “The Overland Park Council voted in favor of this approach to manage congestion and make a local contribution through tolls. The Kelly Administration’s transportation program is built on partnerships. Communities across the state provide local financial contribution or phasing projects so their projects can be built sooner. ”
This section of the US 69 project is expected to be leased for construction in fiscal year 2022 and open to traffic in 2025.
Jordan Meier is a writer for the Morning Sun. She can be contacted at [email protected]