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Archive for Tuesday, May 25, 2010

South Lawrence Trafficway could get boost from highway bill Parkinson signed Tuesday

May 25, 2010, 8:00 a.m. Updated May 25, 2010, 4:34 p.m.

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Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller and Lt. Gov. Troy Findley applaud Tuesday after Gov. Mark Parkinson (seated) signs into law the $8.2 billion, 10-year transportation program.

Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller and Lt. Gov. Troy Findley applaud Tuesday after Gov. Mark Parkinson (seated) signs into law the $8.2 billion, 10-year transportation program.

Parkinson signs transportation bill

Governor Mark Parkinson signed an $8 billion transportation plan that he said will bring thousands of jobs to Kansas. Enlarge video

— Two controversial projects that would have a big impact in northeast Kansas got a boost Tuesday with the signing of the new transportation plan by Gov. Mark Parkinson.

The $8.2 billion, 10-year plan includes $35 million to BNSF Railway to help build a new rail and distribution center in Edgerton, in southern Johnson County.

And it includes $1.7 billion for major highway projects, which could include the proposed South Lawrence Trafficway.

On the rail center, Parkinson said after discussing the project with BNSF officials during the past year, he believed the funding was necessary to get the delayed project moving.

“I became convinced that if we didn’t find some way to provide some additional assistance, the intermodal would not have been built,” he said.

He said the question became whether the upfront $35 million cost was worth the benefit of the economic development. “I’m convinced that it is,” he said, adding that he is confident the project will move forward. Developers say the project will produce 8,700 permanent jobs.

The plan allows the state to make a $35 million grant available to BNSF. Under another bill, the $35 million will be paid back through sales taxes on utilities paid by businesses in the center.

Rep. Tony Brown, D-Baldwin City, whose legislative district abuts where the intermodal will be built, said the project will be a big economic boost to the area.

“We’re anxious to get going on that,” Brown said.

The project has faced stiff opposition from some nearby residents who say it will harm the environment.

The South Lawrence Trafficway doesn’t get direct help under the highway plan, but could receive funding if it survives legal challenges, Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller said.

She said the SLT “would fall into that category” of projects that could receive funding through the $1.7 billion for expansion.

The estimated $148 million SLT project has been mired in controversy for years and is being challenged in federal court by a coalition of organizations and individuals concerned that the planned route through the Baker Wetlands would be environmentally damaging and would harm nearby Haskell Indian Nations University.

Overall, officials say the new transportation plan will create thousands of jobs, preserve Kansas’ highly ranked highway system and promote economic development. Most of the money will be spent on highways and bridge maintenance and repairs.

“This is one of the most important jobs bills that has passed in the history of this state,” Parkinson said.

The legislation authorizes taking on $1.7 billion in new debt. In 2013, the Kansas Department of Transportation will start getting revenue from the sales tax, and registration fees for heavy trucks will increase $100.

Comments

lounger 3 years, 11 months ago

Pure B.S. - and I do mean pure!!! No regard for the wildlife down in the wetlands. LEAVE THE WETLANDS ALONE!!!!!!!!! Money grubbing, politically spinning B>S>!!! This is an abuse of power in a very big way. They just drained the haskall part and TONS of road kill today. A sign of things to come-HELL YES. LEAVE THE WETLANDS ALONE-LEAVE THE WETLANDS ALONE-LEAVE THE WETLANDS ALONE-LEAVE THE WETLANDS ALONE..................................................

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mdrndgtl 3 years, 11 months ago

Cover the wetlands in oil first, then build it.

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JackRipper 3 years, 11 months ago

And still trying to force the developers road through where a large enough group of people don't want it. No way are the people pulling the strings going to have anyone getting in their way so they even have slap happy Roberts pulling strings, Parkinson pulling strings, and the mindless commuters who chose to live where they do and think the world owes them a golden path to the kc malls and work at a time cars may not have much longer to go as we know it. If we want to fund money for jobs why the heck aren't the jobs that have a future instead of the same old tired crap for a state that has stagnant population growth?

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JackRipper 3 years, 11 months ago

I would like an accounting for all the jobs created, the holy mantra that is never, ever backed up with figures like where are the people coming from who do these jobs, are they all Kansans? Even now Hamm's is ran by a mysterious company out of DC. What companies are headquartered in DC? And the push for this road spending came from a group in DC! Kansas has managed to dumb down the education system enough that running these scams are easily done as we demonstrate we really are a bunch of country bumpkins!

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JackRipper 3 years, 11 months ago

"n the rail center, Parkinson said after discussing the project with BNSF officials during the past year, he believed the funding was necessary to get the delayed project moving. “I became convinced that if we didn’t find some way to provide some additional assistance, the intermodal would not have been built,” he said. "

So if ma and pa kettle have an idea for a business is Parkinson going to give them money if the can't make it work any other way, if it is an idea that is dead for a reason ol Mr Can't Fund government responsibilities but will come to save Warren Buffet's company? This country doesn't do anything to hide that it is all about the billionaires, that's why they can rape this country and go scott free and even given money by the government to keep on doing it!

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JackRipper 3 years, 11 months ago

Unfreakin believable! So democrat, republican, doesn't matter flat out giving businesses money from taxpayers is the new norm! This is just absolutely amazing at a time we don't have money for people in need, medicaid, or schools the scumbag politicians chasing for donations do anything they can to keep the old model alive.

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Mike Ford 3 years, 11 months ago

if the lawsuits didn't have merit, why aren't the full speed ahead dumblicans going full speed ahead? the lawsuits have merit both with the SLT and the Intermodal plans. What was done in the 19th century will be stopped this time around. The environmental impact studies on the SLT and the Intermodal were both greased with back scratching and deep pockets. I'm sure the dumblicans want full speed ahead so that more environmental damage like BP and Haliburton can be done. Dumblicans never learn. Profits and capitalism blind them to warning signs, so they blame the victims instead of being responsible in the first place. Better yet, a republicrat raising taxes in Kansas? REALLY?!?

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blue73harley 3 years, 11 months ago

Might as well finish the SLT since we have already paid for "mitigation".

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steveguy 3 years, 11 months ago

I say finish the south bypass through the wet lands now!

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Truami 3 years, 11 months ago

Shouldn't we be thinking of alternatives to the roadways and cars? I mean, is the oil spill not a HUGE sign that we are messing this world up with this addiction we have? I would like to have an intervention with Human Society.

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JackRipper 3 years, 11 months ago

So much for there being any "smart" in any corridors built in Kansas.

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