TOPEKA (KSNT)— More than $11 million is going toward transportation improvement projects in Kansas.
Governor Laura Kelly joined state transportation officials in Gardner on Tuesday to announce that the money is being awarded to 14 statewide Cost Share Program projects. The projects include roadway improvements, pedestrian and access improvements and street rehabilitation.
“If you’ve noticed that roads, bridges, airports, or sidewalks have improved in communities, there’s a good chance, it’s because of the Cost Share Program… every year we build on that progress,” Kelly said.
The Cost Share Program provides financial assistance to local entities for construction projects to improve safety, leverage state funds to increase total transportation investment and help both rural and urban areas of the state improve the transportation system.
“Locals will bring us their problems and sometimes all their lacking is a little bit of money to get them to the finish line, and that’s where KDOT steps in,” said Acting KDOT Secretary Calvin Reed. “State dollars are just there to get the projects over the finish line.”
In Gardner, money will go toward the South Center Street Trail replacement project. Veterans Memorial Park will be home to the city’s first inclusive playground.
“Our residents and visitors will see new inclusive playground equipment that allows children of all abilities and developmental stages to play together, and ADA approved amenities that will improve the accessibility and the safety of the park,” said Gardner Mayor Todd Winters.
The playground will be unveiled later this summer.
In Shawnee County, money will go to SW Auburn and SW 29th Street improvements. Sidewalk improvements will take place in the City of Sedgwick.
“Just west of Topeka, this grant will enable Shawnee County and the Auburn-Washburn school district to install two roundabouts. One will decrease congestion at a busy intersection. The other will provide students a safe route to a new middle school,” Kelly explained. “In the city of Sedgwick, near Wichita, sidewalk improvements will allow pedestrians to make their way to schools and the downtown area, boosting our local small businesses.”
Kelly said investments in infrastructure in rural Kansas will likely help save lives in the future.
“In the city of Washington in north central Kansas, KDOT’s grant will fix up a street leading to the community hospital, making it possible for air ambulances to use the nearby intersection as a landing pad,” Kelly continued. “And, in western Kansas, the city of Leoti, will make improvements to Earl Street, which provides access to the only medical care facility in the county.”
Find a full list of award recipients below: