Governor Laura Kelly and Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz announced May 26, a more than $42 million statewide investment to support 30 transportation projects through an expanded list of recipients of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s (KDOT) Cost Share Program for Spring 2021.
Among the projects included in the list are the Dodge City downtown streetscape project.
“We are thrilled to be a recipient of the KDOT program, and I believe the success of this application is due in part to the support we received from the community in our submissions,” said City Manager Nick Hernandez. “We received 34 individual letters of support from community businesses and partners, both in and out of the downtown district. Along with that, we received a joint letter signed by 25 downtown business and property owners.”
Cost Share is a component of the Kelly administration’s 10-year, bipartisan Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program, or IKE.
Cost Share is designed to help both rural and urban areas advance transportation projects to improve safety, support job retention and growth, relieve congestion and improve access and mobility.
“Infrastructure projects like the ones funded through Cost Share are a perfect example of how government can make smart investments that not only make our economy more dynamic and competitive, but also make Kansas a better place to live, work, and play,” Governor Kelly said. “Through this $42 million investment, 30 communities from every corner of our state will have safer roads, increased access to outdoor recreation, and the opportunity to modernize important historical landmarks.”
KDOT took advantage of 2020 federal coronavirus relief funds by doubling the available Cost Share funding for this round.
Selection criteria were adjusted to take into account hardships caused by the pandemic and points were added to communities that endured above-average economic loss.
KDOT is investing $21 million in this cycle of Cost Share with recipients contributing a 50/50 match of $21 million.
Secretary Lorenz said demand for Cost Share transportation dollars remains strong, especially after the “long, tough year we’ve been through.”
Lorenz said 117 communities requested more than $103 million in funding for this, the fourth round of the Cost Share program.
“Despite that tough year, I couldn’t be more impressed with the record level of local contribution – proving we are stronger when we work together,” said Lorenz. “Thanks to the KDOT team and our local partners, we are moving quickly to expedite the delivery of projects.”
The streetscape project is in the final design stage and will be out to bid this summer.
Dodge City staff is set to have the project under contract for construction in October to begin the construction phase in January 2022.
Main Street Director Coral Lopez stated that the application focused on three significant benefit aspects of the project, “updating aging and inadequate infrastructure, increasing pedestrian safety through walkability of the area, and boosting economic development by revitalizing the spirit of the district and bringing back a welcoming atmosphere.”
The project’s total cost estimate is $10,297,726, with $7,015,000 of funding secured between STAR Bonds revenues, American Recovery Act funds, and the KDOT Cost Share Grant.
“While STAR Bond funds anchor the project, we knew those revenues would not cover everything,” said Hernandez. “This grant will help us in our goal to complete the project in one phase.”
City staff is working to acquire additional grant applications to dedicate to the project.