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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $3.9 Million in Grants for Kansas Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by building new bridge and using new real-time data system for driver safety

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $3.9 million in grants to fund an array of highway-related efforts in Kansas, including the introduction of an "intelligent transportation system" that – using real-time traffic data – can help drivers make safer route decisions, and the construction of a bridge in Wichita using innovative materials which will improve durability and reduce construction time.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Kansans as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting, and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Kansas received funding for the following projects:

Implementation of SMART Work Zone Technology statewide to use real-time traffic data to inform drivers of work zone traffic conditions $1,650,000
This project is to provide road access and a connecting loop road to a new riverfront park being developed adjacent to the Fort Scott National Historic Site $1,545,000
Construction of South Broadway bridge over railroad using Geosynthetic Reinforced System Integrated System abutments in Wichita $320,000
Reconstruction of two entrances and parking area at Kickapoo Tribe Community Building in Horton $197,900
Specialized training to help Kansas DOT prepare minorities, women and disadvantaged individuals in northeast Kansas for careers in highway construction $147,375
Training for Kansas DOT to help Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms compete for federal highway contracts $101,850
Construction and installation of interpretive kiosks along Native Stone Scenic Byway $12,000
TOTAL $3,974,125

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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