Cowley County Awarded $160K To Identify Safety Improvements For Streets, Roads

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Cowley County is one of 12 Kansas entities to receive federal funds through the new Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program, according to a news release from Gov. Laura Kelly’s office Thursday.

Overall, $5 million will be dispersed across Kansas.

The program aims to “produce local transportation safety plans to identify and address transportation safety concerns,” according to Kelly’s office.

State funding provided by a new Kansas SS4A Match Pilot Program will contribute to the local match as required of grant recipients.

“These grants directly support communities across Kansas to improve roadways and save lives,” Kelly said. “I commend these local governments for leveraging federal and state funding to create safety plans for city streets and county roads.”

On behalf of Kansas communities applying for SS4A federal funds, the Kansas Department of Transportation sent 22 letters of support for this first round of SS4A applications. The 12 projects awarded within Kansas are for “action plan grants” to assist communities that do not currently have a roadway safety plan in place.

The largest grant award in Kansas went to Garden City for $1,360,000. The Garden City application is for a safety plan for six cities and six counties in western Kansas.

Other Kansas communities securing SS4A grants include the City of Dodge City, City of Lawrence, City of Leavenworth, City of Olathe, City of Salina, City of Valley Falls, Cowley County, Leavenworth County, and Wyandotte County. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission are among the SS4A grant recipients.

To encourage participation in this program, KDOT agreed to contribute anywhere from 10% to 20% of the total local match requirement. To receive the full 20%, an agency had to represent a rural area of the state and apply for a multijurisdictional planning effort to encourage regional collaboration. The Cost Share/Match in SS4A is 80% Federal and 20% Local Match.

“Local commitment and regional collaboration were instrumental in bringing Safe Streets and Roads for All funds to Kansas,” Calvin Reed, Acting Secretary of Transportation, said. “KDOT’s help with local matching funds is indicative of the importance the agency places on safety and our long-term goal of reaching zero roadway fatalities.”

Administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, SS4A is a five-year, $5 billion competitive grant program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Rep. Ron Estes, who represents south central Kansas in Congress, voted against the infrastructure bill. Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall also voted against.

The program supports the U.S. DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, a comprehensive approach to make roadways safer for everyone, including drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and emergency and construction workers. SS4A plans stress responsible driving, safer roadway designs, appropriate speed-limit setting, and improved post-crash care, among other strategies.

Below is an overview of the awarded projects in Kansas from the SS4A program:

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