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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Governor Laura Kelly Announces 10 Short Line Rail Improvement Projects

Kelly Administration to make $5.2 million investment to improve rail transportation and strengthen economy

WICHITA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly and Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz announced 10 projects, totaling more than $5.2 million, were awarded as part of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Short Line Rail Improvement Fund Program. The announcement took place at the Gavilon grain elevator in southwest Wichita, one of the recipients of program funding.

“These ten improvement projects will connect Kansas grain businesses with new regions and customers, supporting farmers and our agriculture industry,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “My administration will continue to invest in needed and commonsense infrastructure improvements like these to strengthen our growing economy.”

Six projects were awarded to shippers and four projects were awarded to short line railroads in nine counties across Kansas. State funding for the individual projects ranges from $56,000 for the installation of new scales to nearly $2 million for siding expansion to increase railcar capacity and carloading capabilities.

Switch and crossing replacements will reduce crossing delays for vehicles. All projects will result in less wear and tear on Kansas roadways and bridges. State funding for the 10 projects will be enhanced by a 30% match from each recipient, meaning more than $7.4 million will be invested in the state’s agricultural infrastructure.

Secretary Julie Lorenz said KDOT received 19 applications requesting more than $21 million in this second year of the three-year Short Line Rail Improvement Program.

“In partnership with shippers and short line railroads, these modernization projects are improving commerce and opportunity for Kansas families and their communities,” said Secretary Lorenz. “Together we’re working to better connect Kansas-grown grain to the broader network of Class 1 rail for delivery to regional, national and international markets.”

The Short Line Rail Improvement Fund provides $5 million annually for three years. The program was created as part of the Kelly Administration’s 10-year, bipartisan Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program.

The selected Short Line Rail Improvement Fund Program projects include:

To view a map of selected Short Line Rail Improvement Fund Program projects, please click here.

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
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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