Topeka Kansas' Interstate system is in good shape but hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements are needed within the next 10 years, according to a report released today.
"Every day the interstate system saves lives, time and money for both residents and visitors to the state," said Frank Moretti, director of policy and research for The Road Information Program, a Washington, D.C. group funded by highway interests.
Moretti said 74 percent of Kansas' 874-mile Interstate system is in good condition. "The challenge is to keep Kansas Interstates in that condition," he said.
By 2016, that will cost $515 million to widen Interstates in the Kansas City, Kan. and Wichita areas.
It also will require reconstructing 150 miles of roads and 220 bridges. No estimate was available for those projects.
"We've built a great system and worked hard to maintain it," said Terry Heidner, director of planning and development for the Kansas Department of Transportation. "We need to continue to be vigilant," he said.
The release of the report and news conference also was seen as an attempt to lay the foundation for another comprehensive transportation plan for Kansas.
The current 10-year, $13.5 billion CTP is set to expire July 1, 2008.
Patrick Hurley, with Economic Lifelines, which lobbies for transportation funding, said his group hears constantly from areas of the state that want road improvements.
"We'll be looking at continuing that sequence," of road plans, he said.