Kansas City, MO – Recent budget cutbacks mean that there are now fewer state dollars for highways. That's got the Kansas Department of Transportation looking at new ways to select the road projects it takes on. In the past, the state has only examined traffic volume and road conditions, but K-DOT spokesman Steve Swartz says local input and a project's economic impact could play a bigger role in the future.
Swartz: "We want to make sure we preserve the system that we have and that when we make decisions as to where we're going to build major projects that we do this in a strategic sense. We don't expect to have maybe the kind of spending abilities we've had in the past, so we want to make sure that when we make decisions that we're doing it in the right place where the state gets the most out of its investment."
KDOT is holding a series of statewide public meetings on the plan, and the rankings of 90 different proposed projects.