Gov. Kelly unveils new 10 year transportation plan

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – State leaders are mapping a new future for Kansas roads.

Governor Laura Kelly and Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz are unveiling a new 10 year transportation plan, called Forward.

Kelly said having an updated plan is important in making Kansas an attractive state to live in.

“We must maintain our advantage of having some of the shortest commute times in the country,” Kelly said. “With Forward, we’ll give Kansans more time to do the things they want, rather than wasting their time in traffic jams.”

Kelly highlighted that the plan would bring more walkways and increase transportation options to the state.

The plan is projected to cost $9.9 billion. All counties will receive at least $8 million in improvements.

Kelly stressed that the state needs to stop taking money from KDOT to fund other areas. She said her budget will “close the bank” by the end of her first term as governor.

“Ensure funding for transportation is spent on transportation,” Kelly said.

There are still big projects from the previous plan that are left to be completed. Officials said the majority of those will still be completed.

Officials said the new plan will differ from previous plans. Big projects will be selected every two years instead of once a decade, and local governments will have a greater say in smaller projects.

“There’s an increased focus on preservation and maintenance,” said KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz. “After that, what you’ll see are strategic investments in some priority corridors. More importantly, we’ve created several smaller programs that communities can access year in and year out, so we can get more targeted improvements for communities faster,” she said.

KDOT held 27 meetings across the state to get feedback on the state’s biggest needs to help develop the plan.

The legislature will debate the plan this session.

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