Archive for Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Highway officials pull plug on projects because of funding concerns

November 12, 2008

State highway officials on Wednesday suspended most construction bid lettings for two months because of uncertainties about federal and state funding.

The announcement came as Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller briefed lawmakers.

Miller said "it would be absolutely irresponsible" to put projects out to bid if funding for that work were in question. She said the action was necessary because of a shortfall in federal highway funding and the state's worsening budget condition.

The move will affect most remaining projects under the state's 10-year Comprehensive Transportation Program.

KDOT was scheduled to go forward with $203 million worth of projects in December. That will now be cut back to $57 million. January's $111 million worth of projects will be reduced to $48 million.

But officials said the delay won't affect expansion of U.S. Highway 59 in Franklin County, which already is under way.

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