“My administration is committed to improving Kansas’ transportation system, including city- and county-owned bridges in need of overdue repairs,” Kelly said. “These bridge programs demonstrate how, by fostering partnerships among all levels of government, we can build a robust, responsive infrastructure system that provides efficient and safe transportation routes and boosts state and local economies.”
The amount awarded by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) to cities and counties more than doubles and triples local bridge improvement funds available in these programs as part of the existing Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE).
The announcement took place at the Pottawatomie County Law Enforcement Center in Westmoreland, just a few miles from one of the selected bridges.
The KDOT bridge improvement programs include approximately $137.5 million in BIL funds over the next five years.
The Off-System Bridge Program (OSB) has been expanded from $8 million in annual funding to $20.5 million. Twenty-two projects — with awarded funds ranging from $460,000 to $1.4 million — were selected for Federal Fiscal Year 2024. In total for this round, KDOT received 99 OSB applications requesting $83.8 million.
The Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program (KLBIP) has increased from $5 million annually to $20 million. For State Fiscal Year 2023, the 11 selected KLBIP projects will replace 10 deficient bridges and permanently remove seven deficient bridges from the local system. For this round of KLBIP selections, 114 applications were received with requests totaling more than $126 million.
“These local bridges are the lifeblood of many communities,” Lorenz said. “Most ag loads start in a field, are placed in a truck, and have to cross a county bridge to get to a state highway or rail line. Congratulations to these Kansas communities for partnering with KDOT and securing local matching funds that keep critical bridges open to the public and moving commerce.”
Both the OSB and KLBIP have similar-yet-different bridge eligibility requirements targeted for city and county bridges not on the state highway system and in need of replacement or repair. Funds for both programs are awarded through an application process and, in most cases, require a local contribution. KDOT uses selection criteria that include bridge condition, detour length, inability to carry legal loads, and past project history.
There are approximately 19,300 bridges on Kansas’ local road systems. About 26 percent — or 5,000 — of those bridges are in poor condition or unable to meet today’s weight and vehicle requirements.