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KDOT to help fund intersection work
new deh 281-railroad ave funding pic
Traffic speeds along South Main Street at Railroad Avenue in Great Bend Thursday afternoon. The city learned it will get funding to repair the intersection in 2015. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

When City Engineer Robert Winiecke addresses the Great Bend City Council Tuesday night, he will have good news about a long-awaited street improvement project – the intersection of U.S. 281 (Main Street) and Railroad Avenue.
He will announce that Great Bend is one of 18 Kansas cities to receive fiscal year 2015 funding under the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Geometric Improvement Program. This money is intended to renovate intersections and address road deficiencies.
Great Bend will receive $583,200 to improve the junction. The total estimated cost for this project is $648,000 and KDOT will let bids for work in February 2015.  
Statewide, KDOT will provide $10.9 million for the projects, which will be built at an estimated cost of $15.4 million. The cities will provide matching funds to cover the remainder of the costs. The percent of state funding is based on the size of the city and ranges from 75 percent for the largest cities to 100 percent for the smallest.
KDOT received 40 applications requesting $27 million in funding (for projects totaling $37 million).
Roads selected for Geometric Improvement funding are part of the state highway system but located within city limits.
Other communities selected for the program and the state contribution include:
Augusta, $600,000; Baxter Springs, $303,100; Beloit, $750,000; Coffeyville, $373,900; Dighton, $115,000; Downs, $698,100; Hillsboro, $627,400; Horton, $150,200; Independence, $800,000; Jewell, $567,400; Leavenworth, $700,000; Liberal, $800,000; Manhattan, $900,000; Ness City, $680,200; Norton, $750,000; Stockton, $700,000; Winfield, $800,000.
The Geometric Improvement Program is funded under the T-WORKS transportation program, which was passed by the 2010 Legislature. T-WORKS is a 10-year, $8 billion transportation program designed to create jobs, preserve highway infrastructure, and provide economic development opportunities across the state.
The projects are funded primarily through a statewide 4/10-cent sales tax.  

Railroad Avenue
Elsewhere on Railroad Avenue, the City Council in Jul y approved a partnership with Barton County on improvements to the street between Main Street and Washington Avenue. Venture Corporation will do the work which will cost $116,466.50.
The county will cover 70.3 percent and the city 29.7 percent. This is based on how much of the street falls within the city limits and how much falls under the county’s jurisdiction.
The County Commission signed off on the partnership when it met Feb. 6. The original plan called for a cold-mix overlay, but the hot-mix option, although more expensive, will last longer. The cost of the project was originally about $103,000, so the city’s portion increased about $5,000.
The street will maintain its concave shape, which allows for water to pool down the center. To replace that with a raised crown down the center would require a new drainage system and cost over $1 million.
Work is scheduled to begin in October.