Gov. Kelly signs transportation bill, includes broadband funding

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed into law Senate Bill 173 on April 3. The transportation bill is a 10-year program that will improve Kansas infrastructure for immediate and future needs, as well as put Kansans to work fixing roads, bridges and improving public safety. Gov. Kelly said this $9.9 billion transportation bill, named the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program, is meant to help Kansas prepare for an economy post-COVID 19. It will replace the expired T-Works program.

“Every area of the state will receive work,” Kelly said. Every county in Kansas will receive at least $8 million for highway improvements. And new projects will be selected every two years.

The bill also includes funds for expanded broadband capabilities. Expanded broadband access has been a top priority for Kansas lawmakers and farm lobbyists to improve not only the safety of Kansans, but also communications capabilities across the state.

The Eisenhower Legacy Program will complete the T-Works projects that have been in limbo from previous administrations. Funding gaps were often filled by sweeping money from transportation programs in the state.

It’s named for former president and Kansan Dwight D. Eisenhower. One of Eisenhower’s lasting legacies is the interstate highway system, a transportation feat that opened up the United States to expanded travel.

Jennifer M. Latzke can be reached at 620-227-1807 or [email protected].