The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) announced Wednesday that it has reinstated a popular program designed to help replace and rehabilitate city and county deficient bridges.
The Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program is a $5 million state-funded program that helps cities and counties by providing up to $150,000 toward the replacement or rehabilitation of a bridge on the local roadway system, according to a press release. To qualify, bridges must be rated as deficient, have a daily vehicle count of less than 100 and be 20 to 50 feet in length. Cities and counties can garner an additional $50,000 by closing a deficient bridge. Local jurisdictions that are awarded funds must provide a 10 percent match, according to the release.
Funding for the program is part of the $216 million in sales tax authorized by Gov. Kelly to remain in the state highway fund in fiscal year 2020, according to the release. Those funds will be used to increase highway preservation, help complete delayed T-WORKS projects, improve safety and provide new funding opportunities for cities and counties.
“This was a popular program when it was offered in 2014 and I’m very happy that we’re able to bring it back,” said KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz in the release. “Reinstating the Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program was one of the top recommendations coming out of last year’s Joint Legislative Vision Task Force and is a great way for us to work together with cities and counties to address needed improvements.”
There are approximately 19,000 bridges on Kansas’ local road systems. About 20 percent — or 3,800 — of those bridges are in poor condition or unable to meet today’s weight and vehicle requirements, according to the press release. Under the previous program, 110 bridges were replaced or permanently closed during the two years it operated.
Applications will be accepted through mid-September and KDOT will select projects in early October, according to the release. Details are posted on KDOT’s website.