Kansas DOT announces $5 million in Local Bridge Replacement funds

Oct. 30, 2019

The surge in funding will benefit 27 counties statewide

Twenty-seven counties will receive a combined total of $5 million under the Kansas DOT’s Local Bridge Improvement Program. Requests for transportation funding outpaced available funds by nearly three times. The selection of the local bridge projects was announced by KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz.

“Improving the overall transportation system in our state is important and that includes those structures under local authority,” said Lorenz. “It takes partnerships between the state, cities and counties to move people and goods as efficiently as possible across Kansas.”

The bridge program was reinstated by KDOT this summer to assist cities and counties by providing up to $150,000 toward the replacement or rehabilitation of a bridge on the local roadway system. In the FY 2020 budget, $166 million less will be transferred out of the State Highway Fund. This funding will allow KDOT to perform about $400 million in preservation projects, deliver five more delayed T-WORKS projects and enabled KDOT to reactivate the Local Bridge Improvement Program.

A total of 86 applications from 70 local public agencies were received with requests for $14.2 million in funds. Some agencies submitted more than one application for the program. The total value of the individual bridge request repairs ranged from $150,000 to $800,000.

“We clearly have pent up demand for transportation investments,” Lorenz said. “If state government can continue to keep its expenses and revenues aligned, we intend to fund this program on an on-going basis.”

This program targets bridges that are 20–50 ft in length and a daily vehicle count of less than 100. Deficient structures, which are longer and deficient structures on higher volume roads, also qualify for funding under the program, but these will be limited to the same state funding amounts.

There are approximately 19,000 bridges on Kansas’ local road systems. About 20%, or 3,800, of those bridges are in poor condition or unable to meet today’s weight and vehicle requirements.

The list of counties receiving funding is shown in the agency’s release. According to the most recent data, Kansas’s overall bridge conditions are moderate. 5% of state bridges are considered to be in poor condition against 55% considered to be in good shape, ranking the state as 35th in the nation according to the American Road Transportation Builders Association's deficiency rank (which takes into account the District of Columbia, as well as Puerto Rico). There are 24,906 bridges in the state, comprising 8,680,998 sq meters of overall bridge deck area.

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