One project will improve stretches of U.S. 54 in Kingman and Pratt counties
• Special to the Leader & Times
WICHITA – Major highway expansion projects that will enhance safety and support economic development in Wichita and throughout South Central Kansas were announced Tuesday by Gov. Sam Brownback.
The projects include a $116 million improvement on I-235 at the Kellogg interchange and a four-lane reconstruction of U.S. 54 in Sedgwick County. Other work in the region will improve stretches of U.S. 54 in Kingman and Pratt counties, K-96 from Hutchinson to Sterling and U.S. 50 at Newton.
The Wichita appearance by the Governor, who was accompanied by Transportation Secretary Deb Miller and introduced by Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, kicks off a four-day, five-city tour to announce projects funded under the state’s transportation program T-WORKS. The Governor touted the economic benefits of the projects he is announcing this week.
“Not only will these projects enhance safety for Kansans and visitors to our great state, they also will create thousands of immediate jobs during construction,” Gov. Brownback said. “And, more importantly, once completed they will provide the infrastructure needed to create long-term economic opportunities that will have a lasting impact on the Kansas economy. And that’s why I included the implementation of T-WORKS in my Road Map for Kansas.”
The T-WORKS program was passed by the 2010 Legislature and is smaller than the 1989 and 1999 transportation programs when adjusted for inflation. Secretary Miller said that while available funding limited the number and scope of projects, those being announced this week garnered public support in regional meetings.
“We know these are projects you want because during the five-year planning effort, we conducted dozens of public meetings around the state with thousands of Kansans and you told us what was important to you,” said Secretary Miller. “Local input is a significant factor in the selection process for these projects, along with engineering considerations and economic impacts.”
The list of expansion and modernization projects announced today can be viewed on the T-WORKS Web site at www.ksdo.org/t-works/. Projects for other regions of the state also will be posted on the T-WORKS Web site and updated daily after announcements.