Lawrence Mayor Bob Walters met with Kansas lawmakers to lobby for federal funding for a city-county road project Thursday during a city-financed trip to Washington, D.C.
Walters visited with aides to Sens. Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum, both R-Kan., and with Rep. Jim Slattery, D-Kan., to discuss the status of transportation legislation that may partially finance the Lawrence circumferential loop. The loop consists of the South Lawrence Trafficway, Eastern Parkway and U.S. Highway 40.
"I feel much better informed about where the transportation legislation is going in Congress," Walters said.
Walters' visit came a week after House Speaker Tom Foley, D-Wash., withdrew a controversial 5-cent a gallon gasoline tax proposal from the House's five-year transportation bill. The gasoline tax was intended to finance part of the transportation bill. Without the tax, the House version of the bill has been returned to its Public Works and Transportation Committee for reworking.
In July, that committee approved $5.6 million for the city-county loop project, considered as a demonstration project because it is not included in the federal highway system.
"They've had to go back to the drawing board," Walters said. "The bill is in a subcommittee of the committee right now. They're trying to figure out how much money is needed for core (transportation) programs."
One way the House may finance the transportation bill would be to extend the current 2 -cent gasoline tax for six years, he said.
Walters said he was pleased to have Slattery working for the loop project.
"I think we have an extraordinarily fine person in our corner when it comes to this project," he said.