uring the Kansas Transportation Summit last fall in Emporia, participants said that to better serve the economy, the Kansas Department of Transportation needed a better understanding of the demands of expanding freight within the state. The department committed at that time to form an in-depth exploratory committee to ensure that multimodal freight needs are addressed in the planning, investment and operation of the Kansas transportation system.
“This committee will provide input to me,” Secretary Mike King said. “As well as advising and assisting with identifying freight transportation issues, the committee will help us prioritize highway and rail freight corridors of significance and identify multimodal freight infrastructure needs.”
Members of the committee include Tom Whitaker, Kansas Motor Carriers Association; French Thompson, BNSF Railway; Ben Jones, Union Pacific Railroad; Rick Webb, WATCO Companies; Mike Kelley, YRC Worldwide; John Prather, Groendyke Transport; Kimberly Bonhart, UPS; Tom Allen, Cargill; Joe Goodwin, Seaboard Farms; Joe Pimple, Sauder Fabrication; Dwight Keen, Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association; Scott Ball, MV Purchasing; Coby Sedlacek, Landoll Corporation; Patrick Robinson, NorthPoint Development; Tom Tunnell, Kansas Grain and Feed Association; Aaron Popelka, Kansas Livestock Association; Jason Hammes, Frito Lay; Jason Ball, Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce; Robert Hoback, Ryan Transportation Services; Ron Achelpohl, Mid-America Regional Council; Gloria Jeff, Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization; Chris Gutierrez, KC SmartPort; Mike Moore, Murphy Tractor; George Eakin, Osborne Industries; Carolyn Dunn, Stafford County Economic Development; Mike Bowen, Federal Highway Administration.
State Representatives Melanie Meier and Bud Estes and State Senators Pat Apple and Garrett Love will have seats on the committee. State agencies participating in the discussion include KDOT, the Kansas Turnpike Authority, the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Kansas Department of Revenue and the Kansas Corporation Commission.
There will be four meetings of the committee, the first April 2 in Topeka at the Ramada Inn and Convention Center. Other meetings are scheduled for May 21 in Salina, July 9 in Wichita and Aug. 20 in Overland Park. The meeting locations are ADA accessible. Persons in need of a sign language interpreter, an assistive listening device, large print or Braille material, or other accommodation to participate in this meeting should notify Tammy Torrez at firstname.lastname@example.org or (785) 296-2153 (Voice)/Hearing Impaired – 711.