Twenty-seven counties will receive a combined total of $5 million under the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Local Bridge Improvement Program. Requests for transportation funding outpaced available funds by nearly three times. The selection of the local bridge projects was announced today by KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz.
Area counties included are Rice, Russell and Stafford. All three applied for funding for two bridges.
“Improving the overall transportation system in our state is important and that includes those structures under local authority,” said Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz. “It takes partnerships between the state, cities and counties to move people and goods as efficiently as possible across Kansas.”
The bridge program was reinstated by the agency this summer to assist cities and counties by providing up to $150,000 toward the replacement or rehabilitation of a bridge on the local roadway system. In the FY 2020 budget, $166 million less will be transferred out of the State Highway Fund. This funding will allow KDOT to perform about $400 million in preservation projects, deliver five more delayed T-WORKS projects and enabled KDOT to reactivate the Local Bridge Improvement Program.
A total of 86 applications from 70 local public agencies were received with requests for $14.2 million in funds. Some agencies submitted more than one application for the program. The total value of the individual bridge request repairs ranged from $150,000 to $800,000.
“We clearly have pent up demand for transportation investments,” Secretary Lorenz said. “If state government can continue to keep its expenses and revenues aligned, we intend to fund this program on an on-going basis.”
This program targets bridges that are 20 – 50 feet in length and a daily vehicle count of less than 100. Deficient structures, which are longer and deficient structures on higher volume roads, also qualify for funding under the program, but these will be limited to the same state funding amounts.
There are approximately 19,000 bridges on Kansas’ local road systems. About 20 percent – or 3,800 -- of those bridges are in poor condition – or unable to meet today’s weight and vehicle requirements.