County awarded bridge project funds
Gov. Laura Kelly and Kansas Transportation Secretary Calvin Reed recently announced that 35 local and off-system bridge projects across the state, including one in Jackson County, will receive a combined total of $42.3 million as part of two local bridge improvement programs that capitalize on new revenue from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
Jackson County has been awarded $750,000, with an additional $51,871 local match, to replace the bridge on 246th Road one mile south of Circleville that is over the Elk Creek Tributary.
Combined with matching funds from the awarded cities and counties, the total project value of all 35 projects is nearly $48.8 million, it was reported.
By reshaping the local bridge programs to take advantage of BIL, the Kansas Department of Transportation more than doubled its annual funding as part of the existing Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE).
“A stronger transportation system and safer bridges keep our communities and economy moving,” Gov. Kelly said. “There are more than 19,000 bridges on local road systems across Kansas, all of which are essential to getting people and goods where they need to go. Yet almost 5,000 of those bridges simply cannot meet our state’s needs in a modern world, which is why these investments are critical for making our state a better place to live and work.”
The project announcements took place in Dodge City to highlight the largest local bridge grant being awarded: $7 million for the construction of a new northbound bridge on 14th Avenue over the Arkansas River. Dodge City is matching $2 million toward the $9 million total cost of the new bridge.
In addition to Gov. Kelly and Secretary Reed, Dodge City Mayor Michael Burns and Representative Shannon Francis, Liberal, Chair of the House Transportation Committee, participated in the announcement.
“We welcome opportunities to partner with Kansas cities and counties to replace or rehabilitate deteriorating bridges,” Secretary Reed said. “The needs are high, and these programs allow KDOT to assist communities in moving projects forward that support the transportation needs of Kansans.”
The Kansas Department of Transportation’s Off-System Bridge program (OSB) is awarding $20.5 million in Fiscal Year 2025 funds to 20 projects across the state, including the bridge in Jackson County.
The Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program (KLBIP) is awarding $21.8 million in Fiscal Year 2024 KDOT funds to 15 projects, with 16 deficient bridges to be replaced and an additional 12 to be permanently removed from local systems.
The OSB and KLBIP are targeted for city and county bridges not on the state highway system and in need of replacement or repair. Funds for both programs are awarded through an application process and, in most cases, require a local contribution. KDOT uses selection criteria that include bridge condition, detour length, inability to carry legal loads and past project history.
For this cycle of the local bridge programs, KDOT received a combined total of 176 applications requesting $162.4 million.