Public Information

Transportation program to be completed as planned

Jul. 17, 2006 ( 06-181)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News Contact: Steve Swartz, (785) 296-3585

Transportation program to be completed as planned

As the state’s ten-year Comprehensive Transportation Program (CTP) enters its final three years, KDOT is releasing updated schedules for all major remaining construction projects. And despite concerns about cost increases, all projects will be under construction by fiscal year 2009 as promised.

Schedules and construction estimates were updated this January and February in response to the upward trend in construction costs and because of the sticker shock monthly bid lettings were creating.  This new list of schedules, which can be viewed at www.ksdot.org, reflects that work.

“We still have concerns about the cost of commodities and we will continue to monitor this situation and its impact on our project costs,” KDOT Secretary Miller said. “Despite this, I remain cautiously optimistic that we will meet the schedules contained in this document.”

Most of the increases in commodities are driven by the rising cost of oil, which has increased about 40 percent in the past year. Miller noted that if the price of oil, steel, asphalt and cement do not stabilize to late 2005 prices these construction estimates and schedules will need to be revised.

“To meet the challenges of cost increases, KDOT will continue to work with its partners to keep projects on schedule,” Miller said. “And we will work hard to manage resources and closely monitor costs to put ourselves in the best position to complete the program.”

Since the recession in 2001, there have been many challenges to the completion of the CTP. Miller noted that when legislative leadership authorized $210 million in bond financing to cover the gap in federal funds this session, KDOT had hoped it would be the last challenge to completing the CTP.

However, escalating costs have added another challenge.

Still, Miller remains confident that as long as state leaders maintain the commitments to the program they’ve shown in the past, the CTP will overcome this challenge.

“Throughout its entirety the CTP has been successful because of the strong support of both Governors Graves and Sebelius and legislators from both parties and from all regions of the state,” Miller said. “By continuing to work together we can complete this program, which has generated jobs, protected and enhanced our state’s infrastructure, and made the highways safer for the nearly 2 million Kansas drivers who use them every day.”

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