KDOT to outline plans for stimulus money today

Later this morning, the Kansas transportation department will announce how it plans to spend its stimulus money.

Kansas has about $350 million to spend on highways and bridges, but has identified a pool of about $1.3 billion for ready-to-go highway projects across the state.

One of the leading contenders for money figures to be U.S. 69 in Overland Park where traffic volumes are approaching levels you might see on I-70 in Missouri or I-435 on the south side of the metro area.

Engineers have already finished design on the segment from I-435 to I-35 and the $91 million project is about ready to go out for bids.

The state has already put $63 million into the 69 corridor between 119th Street and I-35 for design work, utility relocation and construction. And KDOT has already identified U.S. 69 from I-435 to I-35 as one the worst urban bottlenecks.

Overland Park has been in hot pursuit of money for widening U.S. 69, one of the two major north-south routes through Johnson County.

Overland Park would like to widen U.S. 69 to four lanes all the way to 167th Street, but that’s probably years away.

Other local projects up for stimulus money, include:

* Interchange at Kansas 7 and 55th Street in Shawnee. Cost: $27 million

* Upgrade the Interchange at I-35 and 191st Street in Gardner. Cost: $2 million

* Repairs to 18th Street Bridge in Johnson County. Cost $2 million

* Widening six miles of K-10 in Johnson or Douglas counties: Cost $100 million.

* New interchange at K-10/15th Street in Douglas County: Cost $10 million

* $16 million that would partly go toward a ramp metering project on I-435 in Johnson County. Ramp meters are stop lights placed at the entrances to the interstate to help regulate traffic flow and ease congestion. The money also would go for lighting and signing projects across the state.

The states have 120 days to spend 50 percent of their allocation in the stimulus and a year to spend all the money