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The System Enhancement Program Story

August 4, 2000 00-124(b)
News Contact: Marty Matthews, (785) 296-3585

The System Enhancement Program Story

The System Enhancement Program is one component of the Comprehensive Transportation Program (CTP) passed by the 1999 Kansas Legislature that Governor Bill Graves signed into law in May 1999. The legislation authorized $1.05 billion for System Enhancements. Fifty million dollars of the System Enhancement funding was earmarked for Wichita's rail grade separation projects.

The remaining one billion dollars was divided between urban and rural categories. Sixty-five percent was allocated to rural areas, and thirty-five percent was allocated to the five urban counties (Douglas, Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee, and Wyandotte). The breakdown was based on 1997 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts that showed approximately thirty five percent of all vehicle miles traveled are on the state highway system in the five urban counties.

The urban and rural allocations were further divided into three project categories: Bypass Construction, Corridor Improvement, and Interchange/Separation Improvements. How much was committed to each pool depended on the number of applications received in each category.

The selection method adopted the same approach that was successfully used for the Comprehensive Highway Program (FY 1990- FY 1997). The process that led to today's announcements began in the summer of 1999. (A time line showing the key dates and events in the process is included in this packet.) Each project has been reviewed by the Economic Development Review Panel, which was appointed by Governor Graves and chaired by Lt. Governor Gary Sherrer, and by KDOT.

KDOT developed a score for each project based on objective engineering criteria, considering such factors as current and projected traffic volume, design, and safety issues. This score could be a maximum of 80 points. The Economic Development Review Panel (EDRP) considered a project's potential for economic development and assigned a project score of up to 20 points.

These scores were combined and then any points earned through "extra credit" categories were added to the score. A project sponsor could earn extra credit in one of three ways:

  • Offer to take over responsibility of lane miles currently on the State Highway System once the System Enhancement project is completed and open to traffic
  • Offer a percentage of the project cost as local matching funds
  • Submit a project where a portion of the project may already be complete.

The combination of these three numbers: KDOT score, EDRP score, and extra credit points created the project's final score. It was then prioritized against the other projects in its category, and projects were funded from the top down until dollars in that category were exhausted.

KDOT did decide to fund some projects that were ranked lower than other candidates because these projects could be fully funded with the remaining dollars available in the category. KDOT also decided to partially fund some projects. All of these decisions were made to make the best use of the dollars available.

Construction of these projects is contingent upon funding as provided in HB 2071, the legislation creating the Comprehensive Transportation Program. Any reduction of the HB 2071 funding commitments would negatively impact the System Enhancement projects.

The next step in the process is for KDOT to sit down with the sponsors of the selected projects and develop agreements with these cities and counties. Once those agreements are signed, the projects will be developed much the same as any other KDOT project. Construction will begin at various times for different projects but most are expected to be in the later years of the CTP with construction starting after 2007.

This page last updated 08/04/00