Study Gives Kansas Roads High Marks

Sep 16, 2016

A study by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) says 96.7 percent of interstate highways and 91.7 percent of non-interstate highways in the state were ranked as "good" in the fiscal year ending in July.

To figure out the rating, the department evaluates the state's 10,000-mile highway system annually and gives marks based on scores of surface roughness and distress. KDOT says it aims for 85 percent of interstate highways and 80 percent of non-interstate highways to be rated as good. This year's rankings were higher than that.

But Bob Totten, executive vice president of the Kansas Contractors Association, says the state's internal analysis doesn't take into account consequences of delayed payments for maintenance and construction projects brought on by budget issues. Gov. Sam Brownback's administration has been criticized for diverting more than $1 billion from the transportation department to cover budget shortfalls.

Totten also said that the transportation department should be applauded for elevating the durability of the state's highway infrastructure.

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