Archive for Monday, March 23, 2009

Douglas County won’t get any federal stimulus funds for road construction

March 23, 2009

Douglas County leaders said Monday morning the county will not receive any federal stimulus funds administered by the state for road or bridge improvements.

Douglas County Engineer Keith Browning said the City of Lawrence will receive money from the Kansas Department of Transportation for intersection improvements at North Second and Locust streets in North Lawrence — an estimated $4 million project.

KDOT is expected to announce a full list of about $11 million worth of stimulus projects Monday. The county’s main request had been an estimated $2.6 million improvement to reconstruction Douglas County Road 438 or the Farmers’ Turnpike northwest of Lawrence.

“It was not good news Friday at all. Actually, I was surprised. I really wanted that 438 project,” Browning said.

The county can still proceed on its own with improving the Farmer’s Turnpike, and commissioners asked the funding request be added to the agenda for the 8:30 a.m. meeting on March 30 at the courthouse, 1100 Mass. St.

Browning said construction to the road could take about eight months, but he wanted to have it finished before winter.

Commissioner Jim Flory asked county administrators to compile funding options because the commission is also dealing with cost-cutting measures, like freezing merit raises and considering cuts to departments and social service agencies.

“I need to be prepared to balance those, and I’d like every piece of information I could get,” Flory said.

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