Archive for Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kansas transportation secretary supports Obama’s jobs bill; KDOT unveils $650 million in road, bridge projects

October 6, 2011


— Her boss may not like it, but Kansas Department of Transportation Deb Miller said Thursday she’d like President Barack Obama’s jobs bill to be approved.

“We’d be very excited if the jobs bill passed,” Miller said. She said passage of the bill would mean $260 million in additional revenue for transportation projects in Kansas.

Miller’s boss, Gov. Sam Brownback, has expressed opposition to the jobs bill.

Obama has proposed a $447 billion bill, saying it would help jumpstart the economy. It would extend and expand a cut in payroll taxes paid by employees and it includes funds for roads, bridges, schools and grants to local governments to pay salaries of teachers and first responders. It would raise funds through tax increases on wealthier people.

Brownback appointed Miller, making her the lone holdover Cabinet member from the administrations of Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson, who are both Democrats. Brownback is a Republican.

Miller’s comment about Obama’s proposal came in response to a question during a news conference in which she unveiled a two-year schedule of $650 million in transportation projects.

Most of the projects are described as preservation jobs, such as bridge replacements, overlays, road rehabilitation and pavement replacement. They are part of the T-WORKS transportation plan approved by the 2010 Legislature.

“These aren’t the rock star projects,” she said. “This is the type of work that keeps the Kansas roadway system in great condition.”

A website that breaks down the projects by county is at Another website, will show how the projects are progressing.

The Douglas County projects include:

— $20.3 million for surfacing of a seven mile portion of U.S. Highway 59.

— $4.4 million for a bridge replacement on East 23rd Street, near Haskell University.

— $4.3 million for shoulder improvements on an eight mile portion of Kansas Highway 10.

— $1 million for seals and overlays on an eight mile portion of K-10.


Ken Lewis 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, there is a lot of infrastructure improvement needed in KS on roads and bridges and water plants, but there is still some waste too. I know that KDOT spent $1.6M this year on a municipal airport upgrade in a small town in western KS. This particular county lost more than 10% of its population in the last census. Why do they need a dual runway airport with 3 pilots based there? LaGaurdia Airport in NYC has two runways.

I dont have a problem with General Aviation and municipal airports. I think they are great. Aviation is part of American tradition, but there is a huge disconnect between project funding for municipal airports and the FAA who regulates aviation. The country spent lavishly in the last 10 years upgrading airports as the FAA was denying and revoking pilot's licenses for everything they could think of. This same small town airport was also upgraded in 2005. Why did it need another $1.6M just 6 years later? Why are we building municipal airports if we wont have any pilots left to use them?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 6 months ago

I believe KDOT is investing in airports across Kansas in rural areas for Air Ambulance reasons.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

I fear that she will soon no longer be employed in her current position, if she continues to oppose the governor.

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