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Kansas Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz to step down Dec. 23

Gov. Laura Kelly with Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz at a news conference announcing plans to resume at set of unfinished highway projects.
Jim McLean
/
Kansas News Service, File Photo
Gov. Laura Kelly with Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz at a news conference announcing plans to resume at set of unfinished highway projects in 2019.

Kansas Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz will resign later this year after nearly four years in office.

The top transportation official in Kansas is stepping down just before Christmas in the first major change at a state agency since Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly narrowly won reelection earlier this month.

Kelly's office announced Tuesday that Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz plans to return to private business. Lorenz's last day leading the state Department of Transportation is Dec. 23.

Lorenz spearheaded Kelly's successful legislative push in 2020 for a new, 10-year program of highway and bridge projects. Worth about $1 billion a year, it also includes money to improve infrastructure for high-speed internet service and allows the state to build new toll roads or add toll lanes on existing highways.

Before Lorenz became the state's transportation chief in 2019, she was an executive at Burns & McDonnell, a Kansas City engineering and architectural firm.

Kelly appointed Calvin Reed, director of the department's design and engineering division, as interim transportation secretary until the governor nominates a more permanent replacement for Lorenz. The appointment must be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Kansas Senate.

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