TOPEKA, Kan. — A Kansas Department of Transportation report says 96.7 percent of interstate highways in the state were ranked as good in the fiscal year ending in July.
The report was released on Friday. The department evaluates the state’s 10,000-mile highway system annually and gives ratings based on scores of surface roughness and distress.
The portion of interstate in Kansas rated as good declined from 97.7 percent in the 2015 survey, according to information previously published by the Transportation Department but not contained in Friday’s release, The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/2cHL1X2 ) reported. The agency’s report released Friday said 91.7 percent of non-interstate highways in the state were found to be in good condition last fiscal year.
The agency says it has targets of 85 percent good for interstate highways and 80 percent good for non-interstate highways.
Kansas Contractors Association executive vice president Bob Totten says the report didn’t take into account consequences of recent postponement of funds for maintenance and construction projects in response to budget issues.
“The fact remains, and we believe most Kansans would agree, that we are still in a critical state with unsafe roads and bridges, drastic loss of construction jobs and a continuous depletion of transportation funding, the equivalent of $1 million a day,” Totten said.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration has been criticized for diverting more than $1 billion from the Transportation Department to cover budget shortfalls.
Totten also said that the Transportation Department should be applauded for elevating the durability of the state’s highway infrastructure.
“In order to fully restore Kansas, our long-term focus needs to be on investing in a strong, sustainable transportation program,” Totten said.
Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com