Newsletter - March 7, 2020
Last Monday Senator Estes and I had a Noon forum at the Liberal Chamber of Commerce. There was a good turnout. Thanks to everyone that took the time to come and AT&T and the Chamber for hosting it. I also had the pleasure of speaking at the Rotary Club on Tuesday.
It was nice to see Nick Hatcher and his daughter Elle this week. They were up to watch the LHS Boys play Topeka High in Substate.
I enjoyed watching LHS play Topeka High in Substate Wednesday night. The Redskins Boy’s played hard and represented our community well.
Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz was in Liberal Friday for the groundbreaking on the next phase of the four lane expansion on Highway 54. Below are excerpts from my remarks at the groundbreaking:
“I remember when this project was delayed 4 years ago. We were disappointed with what seemed like another broken promise. But, today it’s a promise kept.
A big thanks to everyone – from Governor Kelly, Speaker Ryckman, Secretary Lorenz and all of us here at home - who have advocated to restore funding to our highways … and stop the raiding of our highway fund. We aren’t there yet, but this is a great first step.
I also want to thank all of the volunteers of “Spirit” that have spent years working to improve Highway 54. I’m thinking specifically of Jack Taylor and Max Zimmerman who have both passed since our last ribbon cutting. But, who I know would be standing right here with us, proud of how far we’ve come.
Let’s talk about just how far we’ve come:
- This $38 million-dollar project is one of the first T-Works projects to be restarted.
- In two years, another Seward County T-Works project is scheduled to be let … that will be a $23 million dollar investment in the 3-mile section from Tucker Road east to connect with the existing 4 lane.
- Our community has benefitted from KDOT’s new local cost share program. It was a privilege for me, as chair of the transportation budget committee, to get the initial seed money for this program approved. Through that program, Seward County received two cost share grants this past year - one for an intersection improvement at Highway 83 and Salley Road, and one for walking trails connecting 15th and 8th streets for the City of Liberal.
- Legislation has also been introduced to establish what’s known as “Forward,” the state’s next transportation plan. The Seward County Commission has been a major player in the task force that helped build this new transportation plan, and I can’t say thank you enough to those of you who participated in that process. The Governor and Secretary Lorenz can get real tired of hearing me talk about highways. When you talk, they listen.”
I think this quote illustrates the work to improve highway 54:
“This is not a dream. It is not a visionary project …. Work is going on right now, and it will go on more rapidly and more effectively, as each month passes, until the job has been completed … Good roads will save lives, and they will be of great economic value.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Please reach out to me any time I can assist you with a state agency concern. I do ask that you send the request to me by email. This ensures that I get the information correctly to the agency we are working with. You can reach me when I’m in Topeka by email Shannon.firstname.lastname@example.org
, by phone (785) 296-7466, or by mail at 300 SW 10th
Avenue, 274-W, Topeka, KS 66612. My office at the Capitol is 274W, second floor west wing.