Kansas Department of Transportation

Doug Kerr, flickr Creative Commons

Lobbyists for Kansas highway contractors are urging state lawmakers to increase the gas tax, but it’s proving to be a tough sell.

Forced to deal with massive budget problems in recent years, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and lawmakers have diverted billions of dollars from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Dennis Wright isn’t alone.

He’s one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Kansas residents and public officials waiting for the state to solve its money problems so that dozens of highway projects that have been indefinitely delayed can get going again.

Lorianne DiSabato, flickr Creative Commons

The Wichita Police Department is adding a motorcycle unit to help improve traffic safety.

Wichita City Council approved a grant request at its meeting on Tuesday.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says among the state’s largest cities, Wichita had one of the highest rates of traffic crashes and accidents that resulted in deaths.

So the agency has offered a grant of $300,000 to the Wichita Police Department.

Deputy Chief Gavin Seiler says the grant will pay for eight police motorcycles and related equipment.

KDOT Begins 25th Street Bridge Demolition

Feb 24, 2017
http://www.wichway.org

Beginning Friday, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will be demolishing a bridge that passes over I-235 in northwest Wichita.

The demolition of the 25th Street bridge over I-235 is set to be completed by 6 a.m. on Monday. The work is part of a nearly $20 million project which will include the rebuilding of five bridges that pass over I-235.

KDOT says I-235 traffic will be rerouted through the area. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, and existing ramps will be used to avoid the project.

Kansas Department of Transportations

The Kansas Department of Transportation is moving forward with a bridge maintenance project in Reno County.

It is one of three projects statewide that was approved in January.

The bridge is on U.S. 50, about three miles from the Reno/Stafford County line.

It’s just outside of the city of Sylvia.

KDOT District 5 Spokesman Zach Oswald says the bridge is more than 40 years old and needs extensive maintenance.

Kansas News Service/File

Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is hoping the federal government can rescue several critical infrastructure projects that the state can no longer afford.

Matthew Hodapp / KCUR

In what could be a blow to the road construction industry in Kansas, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) on Tuesday said it will only spend $44 million on new projects in the next fiscal year.

For the past several years KDOT has let about $400 million just on preservation projects, including roads and bridges.

Matthew Hodapp / KCUR

Ten more road projects in Kansas have been postponed indefinitely. That’s in addition to the 24 that were put on hold last month.

“Yesterday we were informed that the 18 projects that were scheduled to be let in January, KDOT has reduced that down to eight,” says Bob Totten with the Kansas Contractors Association.

State Bridge Office, ksdot.org

A new program in Kansas is working to find ways to use drones to help with bridge and tower inspections.

The Kansas Unmanned Aerial Systems program was created to help several state agencies tap into drone technology to improve processes and save money. Test flights began this month to help the Kansas Department of Transportation’s bridge inspection teams.

UAS Director Bob Brock says using drones will help improve the safety of KDOT workers.

John Russell, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Transportation is delaying 24 more road projects due to funding concerns.

KDOT says its future funding is uncertain, so the agency is making decisions about projects on a month-by-month basis.

KDOT spokesman Steve Swartz says 34 projects were supposed to go up for bid in December, but now only ten will move forward. The other 24 projects are postponed indefinitely. Work would have started next summer.

Swartz says postponing the work will save the state about $32 million and won’t cause any safety issues on Kansas’ roads.

Pages