July 6, 2022
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Governor Laura Kelly (D) and Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz recently awarded a slew of grants to support railroad improvement projects statewide as well as a number of “Cost Share” grants to bolster a variety of local mobility projects.

[Above photo by the Kansas DOT]

“Combining state and private funds to improve local infrastructure is a core principle,” Lorenz said. “By placing emphasis on right-sized, practical improvements, we are effectively addressing critical infrastructure in Kansas.”

On June 1, Kansas DOT – via its State Rail Service Improvement Fund or SRSIF – issued $11.5 million in grants to advance 17 railroad improvement projects, the majority of which are in the western and southern part of the state.

Gov. Laura Kelly (center). Photo by the Kansas Governor’s Office.

“Kansas’ railroad industry is vital to the state’s economy and the nation’s supply chain system,” Gov. Kelly noted in a statement. “This $11.5 million investment will modernize our rail network, strengthen our position as a national logistics hub, and enable farmers and ranchers to get their products to market faster.”

SRSIF is part of the 10-year Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program or IKE, signed into law by the governor in April 2020.

Core to IKE is state-local collaboration, with each grant recipient contributing at least 40 percent of the improvement project funding. As a result, the total investment for those 17 rail improvement projects is $19 million.

Photo by the Kansas DOT

Meanwhile, on May 23, Kansas DOT awarded more than $7 million to 11 transportation construction projects through its Cost Share Program for spring 2022.

With those grants included, the agency’s Cost Share Program has issued more than $103 million, complemented by $74 million in local funding, since the program’s inception in 2019.

“We rely on local leaders to bring us their best ideas for projects that, with a little help, can make a significant difference in a community,” Kansas DOT’s Lorenz noted in a statement.

“Communities come to the table with a solid project plan, the support of local business and community members, and matching funds in place,” she added. “State dollars help get the projects to the finish line.”

editor@aashto.org

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