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KDOT Soliciting Requests For System Enhancement Program


June 22, 1999 (Release No. 99-117)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News Contact: Marty Matthews, (785) 296-3585

KDOT Soliciting Requests For System Enhancement Program

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is now soliciting project requests for the new "System Enhancement Program." The Comprehensive Transportation Program (CTP) that Governor Bill Graves signed into law May 10,1999 includes $1.05 billion for this program. System Enhancement projects must be on the State Highway System or a logical addition to the State Highway System. Projects must substantially improve safety, relieve congestion, improve access, or enhance economic development. Only city/county governments or coalitions of city/county governments may submit an application for a System Enhancement project.

"System Enhancement projects are an important part of the state's total transportation program," said E. Dean Carlson, Kansas Secretary of Transportation. "We look forward to working with local governments to address these critical improvements to Kansas' infrastructure."

Projects will be divided into three categories: corridors, interchanges and separations, and bypasses. Each of these is divided between rural and urban projects based on vehicle miles of travel. By calculating the ratio of the vehicle miles of travel throughout Kansas, approximately 65 percent of the funds will be spent on projects in rural and small cities while 35 percent will be spent on urbanized counties.

Objective selection criteria are used to assess each project, including factors such as overall traffic, accident rates, volume capacity ratios, etc. The objective criteria makes up 80 percent of a project's total overall ranking. The other 20 percent of a project's rating will be determined by an Economic Review Panel that will be formed later this year by Governor Bill Graves. The panel will determine a project's economic development enhancement rating.

A candidate project also receives additional credit for local match funding, lane-miles removed from the State Highway System, and partially-complete project development. These factors are chosen for specific reasons. Local match measures a local community's support by how much it is willing to invest in a project; credit for removing lane-miles gains local cooperation in getting redundant miles off the State Highway System; and the 'partially-complete project' credit takes into account projects that have previously been determined to be a priority but for which funding has been unavailable.

"This approach is designed to fund an optimum set of projects that maximizes statewide benefits," said Secretary Carlson. "This is the same process that was used in the highly-successful 1989 Comprehensive Highway Program, and I think this program will be every bit as successful."

Application packets were mailed on June 22 to mayors, city engineers, street superintendents, county commissions, county engineers, and road supervisors. A Letter of Intent and a project map must be submitted to KDOT by August 2. An initial screening of projects to determine eligibility will then take place. Cities and counties will be notified if their projects are eligible by September 15.

Groups with projects determined to be eligible must then put together an application packet. To assist them in this, KDOT will hold a workshop on October 20 in Salina. The workshop is designed to help applicants assemble the best possible proposal. The final deadline for all application material is December 8, 1999. The announcement of the final projects to be selected as System Enhancements is expected by summer 2000.

"It's very important to note that all projects for the System Enhancement Program will be selected from these applications," said Secretary Carlson. "And this is the only time System Enhancement projects will be solicited for the FY 2000-2009 CTP."

More information on the program, including application forms, is available on the KDOT web site, www.ink.org, under the Doing Business category, Information for Local Units of Government.

System Enhancement Program - Letter and Application. (PDF Format)