Kansas Department of Transportation

Doug Kerr / Flickr Creative Commons

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, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

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.

Chris Waits / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

John Russell, flickr Creative Commons

A House panel decided to restore Governor Sam Brownback's request to use millions of dollars from the Kansas Department of Transportation to fill gaps in other state spending, which reverses a decision made last week.

The governor wants to take $724 million dollars from transportation projects.

Last week, the House Transportation Budget Committee voted to reduce that amount by $280 million dollars, allowing about $444 million to be transferred during fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas Secretary of Transportation Mike King is asking lawmakers not to touch one of KDOT’s funding sources.

Lawmakers will be looking for ways to fill a budget gap, and the money could be attractive. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, four-tenths of a percent of the state sales tax goes to KDOT for road projects.

Secretary King says the sales tax funding is a steady source of income, which is important when they’re borrowing money.

Kansas lawmakers may dip into highway funding to help balance the state's budget. As Stephen Koranda reports, the state Senate's top budget write say transportation money could help fill the gap.

Andover Republican Senator Ty Masterson chairs the Ways and Means Committee. He says transportation is a big expense to the state and Kansas has already built a healthy system.

"Pulling back to a point of preservation, and not this aggressive expansion, wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. And it wouldn't be prolonged," says Masterson.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is planning $1.2 billion in improvements to the state's highways, bridges and other projects.

Kansas Secretary of Transportation Mike King announced the plan Thursday for fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

The largest projects are a $116 million expansion of the Interstate 235/US 54 Highway interchange in west Wichita, and a $95 million expansion of Kellogg in east Wichita.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is warning political candidates that the agency’s crews will remove campaign signs found alongside the state’s highways.

The department notes that Kansas law prohibits campaign signs and billboards on a highway right-of-way. The law allows only guide, warning or regulatory signs in those spaces.

The reminder of the rule comes as campaigning ramps up before the state’s Aug. 5 primary.

Pages