Topeka State officials on Friday announced putting 32 road projects worth nearly $50 million in the fast lane to take advantage of low construction prices and spur job growth, officials said.
Accelerated road projects ( .PDF )
"By starting these projects ahead of schedule, we can create hundreds of construction jobs sooner than planned and provide an economic benefit to thousands of Kansans and businesses," said Gov. Sam Brownback.
The highway acceleration proposal was part of legislative Democrats' Kansas Jobs First plan. Democrats thanked Brownback, a Republican, for moving forward with the plan, and Brownback said the Democratic proposal was a good one.
Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said the accelerated projects will help the economy and "hundreds of Kansas families trying to make ends meet."
The projects are mostly road rehabilitation, preservation and bridge repairs. The total is worth $49.8 million, and will produce 470 construction jobs and another 900 indirect jobs, officials said. Construction can start this fall, Kansas Department of Transportation Acting Secretary Barbara Rankin said.
Many of the projects had initially been scheduled to start in 2013 or later, Rankin said.
There are seven projects in northeast Kansas worth $15.1 million but none were in Douglas County. The most expensive one in northeast Kansas is a $2.4 million bridge repair in Topeka of the Oakland Expressway.
Funds for the program are part of the state's $8 billion, 10-year transportation plan.