Governor Laura Kelly Announces $776 Million in Highway Improvement Projects Across Kansas


Kelly Administration’s Bipartisan Transportation Plan to Improve Accessibility, Safety, and Spur New Business Growth

TOPEKA – After making four announcements across Kansas this week, Governor Laura Kelly today announced a total of 24 Expansion and Modernization highway projects – totaling more than $776 million investments – have been committed to construction as part of the Kelly Administration’s bipartisan transportation plan.

“Expanding and modernizing our highways will enhance accessibility and road safety to recruit new businesses and families to every Kansas community,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Since day one, we’ve honored our commitment to ending the practice of using infrastructure dollars for projects they were never meant for – instead using these dollars to fix our roads, bridges, and expand broadband access. These 24 projects are further proof that good stewardship of these funds is benefitting our communities, taxpayers, and businesses.”

After hosting local consult meetings throughout fall 2019, Kansas Department of Transportation staff worked with community leaders to help identify regional transportation priorities and determine cost-effective ways to deliver them.

“Announcing this first round of projects for construction as part of the Kelly Administration’s transportation plan is the next step in KDOT’s commitment to invest in our state,” said KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz. “These statewide improvements support communities and help meet current and future transportation needs.”

Projects were announced in Dodge City and Wichita on July 7 and in Topeka and Overland Park on July 8 that will help relieve congestion and enhance safety. Urban projects include the first express toll lane on U.S. 69 in Overland Park, a new Polk-Quincy viaduct in Topeka, a new diverging diamond interchange east of Lawrence and major improvements to the I-235 North Junction in Wichita.

In rural areas, 20 projects across the state will focus on adding or extending more than 26 miles of passing lanes on numerous highways, rehabilitating and adding shoulders on more than 40 miles of highway and widening/adding shoulders on more than 22 miles on sections of K-7.

KDOT will also keep its promise to let to construction one phase of all T-WORKS projects before construction begins on highway improvement projects.

Funding the Kelly Administration’s transportation plan allows more projects to be included in the development pipeline through the life of the 10-year program. KDOT  will host Local Consult meetings this fall to identify additional regional priorities to be added to the development pipeline and continue working on those projects placed in development in May 2020.

Below is a list of the 24 statewide projects announced this week. To see more information on these projects and other details, visit KDOT’s IKE webpage here.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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