© 2024 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kansas Cuts More Road Projects Owing To Bleak Budget Outlook

Matthew Hodapp
KCUR/File photo
Ten more KDOT road projects have been postponed indefinitely amid Kansas' budget problems.

Ten more road projects in Kansas have been postponed indefinitely. That’s in addition to the 24 that were put on hold last month.

“Yesterday we were informed that the 18 projects that were scheduled to be let in January, KDOT has reduced that down to eight,” says Bob Totten with the Kansas Contractors Association.

The cancelled road projects for December and January total more than $49 million. Kansas is facing a $348 million shortfall for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2017.

Totten says because of the state’s budget crisis, the Kansas Department of Transportation can’t deliver on promises made as part of T-WORKS, the state’s jobs and highways initiative.

Last week the Kansas Contractors Association threw its support behind an 11-cent gas tax hike.

“The reason we supported that is a gas tax cannot be stolen, raided, whatever term you want to call, from KDOT,” Totten says. “It is constitutionally protected that it’s supposed to build roads and bridges.”

Meanwhile, Totten says Kansas contractors are leaving the state for other jobs.

“Well, when the top five bidders on a project three weeks ago Thursday in Oklahoma were Kansas contractors, I think that’s a pretty good indication most people are trying to get work somewhere else,” he says.

Elle covers education for KCUR. The best part of her job is talking to students. Before coming to KCUR in 2014, Elle covered Indiana education policy for NPR’s StateImpact project. Her work covering Indiana’s exit from the Common Core was nationally recognized with an Edward R. Murrow award. Her work at KCUR has been recognized by the Missouri Broadcasters Association and the Kansas City Press Club. She is a graduate of the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. Elle regularly tweets photos of her dog, Kingsley. There is a wounded Dr. Ian Malcolm bobblehead on her desk.