TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – New road construction projects will soon be popping up around the state.
24 new projects were announced Thursday as part of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Cost Share Program. It requires local communities to match at least 15 percent of costs to be awarded a project.
Road construction will start in many areas soon, with 25 percent of the projects beginning by the end of the year, and the rest not far behind.
“All remaining projects will begin construction by the fall of 2021, that means a lot of new construction jobs over the next year. This is just the start of our work to rebuild Kansas’ infrastructure,” Governor Laura Kelly said.
The governor said road construction is a good way to create jobs during the coronavirus outbreak and workers are able to be on the job safely.
Kelly said the cost share program is beneficial to the state when the economy is hurting. She also said the improvements that are completed will pay off long after the crisis is over.
“Transportation investments don’t just create short term construction jobs, they have the ability to change the long term economic outcomes for communities that have lost populations and businesses,” Kelly said. “We know that investing in infrastructure benefits existing businesses and encourages new businesses to locate in Kansas.”
This is the second time the state has awarded projects through the program, which officials said is very popular in communities with more than 136 total projects being considered.
This time the state is committing more than $20 million to projects, and cities and counties are providing more than $20 million themselves.
“In the second round of applications is we actually saw, either working to bring a little more money to the table or downsizing their ask a bit for funding, so we are learning as we work through these processes how to work together better, and I couldn’t be happier with the way this program is coming together,” KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz said.