Kansas Department of Transportation

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As the nation gained jobs during the month of July, Kansas lost them. At the same time, the state's unemployment rate also moved higher.

The number of jobs in Kansas fell by 5,600 in the month of July. The state labor department says most of those jobs – 4,600 – were in the private sector.

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Law enforcement agencies across Kansas are stepping up their patrols to target impaired drivers.

The crackdown is part of a nationwide campaign that runs through Labor Day called “You drink. You drive. You lose.”

Wichita Police and Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputies will be out in full force to identify and stop drivers who are under the influence of alcohol.

John Russell, flickr Creative Commons

A new law allows the Kansas Department of Transportation to erect highway signs as memorials to the victims of drunk driving.

The Kyle Thornburg and Kylie Jobe Believe Act, named after a young couple who lost their lives in 2011 on I-70, requires the secretary of transportation to design a memorial sign containing the names and ages of victims of drugs or alcohol accidents.

Courtesy: Kansas Department of Transportation

The Kansas Byways Program has grown with the addition of the newly- designated Land and Sky Scenic Byway in northwest Kansas.

The 88-mile route begins in Wallace County in Sharon Springs, runs north through Goodland, and ends at the Kansas/Nebraska border.

Sue Stringer, the Kansas byways manager, says the location of the Land and Sky Scenic Byway will help capture travelers as they enter Kansas from the North and the West to boost tourism in the area.

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Updated Tuesday, 10:16 a.m.: The Kansas Department of Transportation says the ramp at I-235 and K-96 will remain open until Tuesday, May 31.

Original story:  

After a soggy Monday, repairs to bridges over the Big Arkansas River at I-235 in Wichita are expected to resume Tuesday.

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The outlook of $2.1 billion worth of highway revenue bonds in Kansas has changed from stable to negative, according to a report from the bond rating service Moody’s Investors Service.

Doug Kerr, flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Sam Brownback’s three options for balancing the state budget include taking about $185 million from the highway fund.

As a result, the Kansas Department of Transportation is holding off on 25 major projects, including two in Reno and Harvey counties.

Fourteen projects will be delayed in fiscal year 2017 at an estimated construction cost of $271 million; 9 projects are on hold in the fiscal year 2018 at an estimated construction cost of $247 million; and two projects are on hold in fiscal year 2019 at an estimated construction cost of $35 million.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

Estimates for Kansas tax collections were ratcheted down sharply yesterday. The state’s projected revenues dropped by a quarter-billion dollars over the next year-and-a-half. That leaves Kansas with a budget deficit. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing plans for erasing the shortfall.

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It’s road construction season and the Kansas Department of Transportation is urging drivers to use caution in construction zones.

Max Dirks is a KDOT worker from Hays who was in a close call when a semi truck came into a work zone too fast.

“I stepped over into the other lane to try to get the semi to stop and I saw he wasn’t going to get stopped. I radioed the other flag men and just dove into the ditch to avoid being hit,” Dirks said.

Kansas Department of Transportation

An earlier version of this story mentioned the wrong interstate. It is the Kellogg/I-235 interchange project.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says work is on schedule for the first phase of a multi-year highway project in west Wichita.

The Kellogg/I-235 Interchange rebuild--dubbed the Red Project--began in November. Wichita Metro Public Affairs Manager Tom Hein says a number of improvements, including new ramps, are being put into place.

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