Friday, May 30, 2014

Tips on how to have a safe bike ride

As we ease into summer, more people will want to enjoy a nice bike ride.  The videos below give you tips on how to properly fit your bike helmet and explain what the rules of the road are for bicycles.  Check them out to make sure you're doing all you can to have a safe ride.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Today we go back to May 30, 1967 to look at construction work being completed on U.S. 69 highway in Fort Scott, Kan.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Don't Miss Thursday's Heat Safety Chat on Twitter #KSHEAT

The most deadly weather event each year is not tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or storms-- it's extreme heat.  Heat kills 1,500 people on average each year in America.

Parents forgetting their babies in the backseat of a hot car can be of of the biggest safety threats to children.  We want to remind parents to "Look before they lock."  It only takes 10 minutes for a car to heat up 20 degrees warmer and become deadly.

Tomorrow, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will host a live twitter chat from 11 a.m. to noon to bring awareness to heat safety preparedness.  You can participate by following @KDHE and using the hastag #KSHeat.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Trivia Tuesday

In which of the following Kansas counties do trucks make up 50 percent or more of the total traffic volumes?
A. Sedgwick
B. Finney
C. Chase
D. Johnson

The correct answer Chase County.  A roughly 10-mile stretch of U.S. 50 highway on the western side of Chase County carries more trucks than cars on a daily basis. To see what truck traffic is like in your area click here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Safe and enjoyable boating

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer, so lots of people will be heading to all the wonderful lakes and rivers across Kansas. Safety on the waterways is just as important as on the roadways. So the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Safe Kids Kansas are participating in National Safe Boating Week and have these tips:

·         Wear a life jacket. Children age 12 or younger are required to wear a life jacket at all times when on board a boat, and KDWPT strongly recommends that adults do the same.

·         Designate a “Water Watcher.” Regardless of a swimmer’s age or skill level, it’s smart for a responsible adult to keep watch when anyone is in the water.
·         Learn CPR. Many local hospitals, fire departments, Red Cross offices and recreation departments offer training at little to no cost.

·         Learn how to safely help someone in distress. All too often, the victim of a drowning has succumbed while trying to rescue someone else. Hurriedly jumping into the water without wearing a life jacket is a recipe for disaster.

·         Adhere to a “no drinking” policy while boating. Boating under the influence is just as deadly as drinking and driving. Penalties can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges, and jail terms. To be safe, only consume alcohol when on land, and never before operating your boat. 

·         Allow only those who have completed boater education to operate the vessel. In Kansas, anyone age 12-20 must have completed an approved boater education course before operating a vessel without the direct supervision of an adult.

·         Know the rules of the water. Knowledge of these rules can prevent dangerous, and even deadly, situations.

·         Educate yourself and your children about swimming safely. Be aware of uneven surfaces, underwater trees and rocks, currents (yes, there are currents in Kansas reservoirs) and changing weather.

·         Keep warm. A dip in the lake may be tempting on a hot day, but remember that the water temperature may be too cold for prolonged swims.

·         Make sure your boat has all the required equipment and is thoroughly tested before hitting the water.

For more safe boating information, including a list of current boating regulations, visit and click “Boating.” 

For more information about child safety topics, visit the Safe Kids Kansas website at

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Here some photos from May 12, 1967 of the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant near DeSoto, Kan.  The Department of Defense utilized the plant from 1942 to 1992 for the production of propellents.  The plant was activated during from 1965 to 1971 to supply propellants for the Vietnam War.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"It’s hard to imagine a world in which we can gather information at the touch of a button, but our transportation infrastructure is operating on systems in place before the invention of the internet. Software can provide affordable, effective solutions that encourage economic growth, support city resiliency efforts, and help the U.S. transportation system finally move into the 21st century."
 -Daryl Dulaney

 Dulaney is president of Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector.  This quote is from a blog he wrote about how transportation projects need to be shovel-ready and software-ready. 

To learn more about Intelligent Transportation Systems in Kansas, check out Kansas City SCOUT or WICHway.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

More than $970 million worth of road construction to begin this year

 As the state’s T-WORKS transportation program moves into its middle years, this will be one of the busiest construction seasons of the 10-year program

 By late fall, when most work winds down for winter, crews will have worked on hundreds of projects this season that have a combined cost of nearly a billion dollars. That includes work on T-WORKS’ two largest projects – the Johnson County Gateway and the South Lawrence Trafficway. Total cost of the Gateway is $298 million and cost of the South Lawrence Trafficway is $186 million. The costs include construction, preliminary engineering, right of way purchase and more. 

“This is one of the biggest years of T-WORKS, which means hundreds of construction workers on the job, a lot of work for businesses that supply and service the construction industry, and tens of millions of dollars pumped into local economies,” said Gov. Sam Brownback. 

“The work being done this season is important to the economic growth of Kansas as it provides the quality infrastructure businesses are looking for when they expand or locate in our state.” 

T-WORKS is an $8 billion program that was passed by the 2010 Legislature. Gov. Brownback made completion of the program part of his Road Map for Kansas. 

The heavy work schedule will mean a lot of orange barrels and a lot of men and women working very close to traffic. 

“I know road construction is frustrating for drivers, but please focus first on the people doing the work, respect their space and understand that they want to go home to their families at the end of the day just like you do,” said Transportation Secretary Mike King.  

“It might be hard to appreciate this when you’re stopped in a line of traffic, but we are fortunate to live in a state where citizens and leaders understand the value of a world-class transportation system,” Secretary King said.

 2014 construction season by the numbers
218                                         Projects
1,790                                      Miles being improved
166                                         Bridges being improved
$973 million                          Total costs of projects

T-WORKS completed through March 2014
Projects                                  968
Lettings                                  $2.2 billion
Miles of work                         7,567
Bridges                                  475
Modal                                     $59 million
(Rail, aviation, transit)

Monday, May 19, 2014

KTA donates gasoline to Run to the Wall riders

Hundreds of motorcyclists will be traveling through Kansas en route to Washington, D.C., to honor military veterans May 17-19. Many of them are expected to stop at the Kansas Turnpike Topeka service area Monday where they will be welcomed by the Kansas Turnpike Authority, the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas ABATE chapter.

“The KTA and KDOT have partnered with the Kansas ABATE chapter to host this unique event and welcome riders’ on their trip through Kansas,” said Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Turnpike Mike King. “On behalf of all Kansans, I thank the veterans for their service to our country.” 

Run for the Wall recognizes the sacrifices and contributions made by veterans who have served our nation. The ride is designed to promote healing among veterans, their families and friends; to call for an accounting of all prisoners of war and those missing in action; to honor the memory of those killed in all wars; and support military personnel all over the world. 

Employees of the KTA and KDOT, along with local and state dignitaries, will pump gas, hand out water and greet the more than 500 motorcyclists and veterans that are expected as they make their way through Kansas. The KTA is donating $500 worth of gasoline to the riders.  

Check out @kdothq to see more photos and videos from this event. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Legislative Update

KDOT Secretary Mike King sent out an email on Thursday giving an update on how our agency fared during the 2014 Legislative Session.  Here is that message.

Transportation stakeholders,

Now that the 2014 legislative session has ended, I want to thank you for your support.  With your help, we were able to protect our 10-year transportation program T-WORKS, which is so vital to the economic success of our state. 

With no new money transfers from the KDOT budget, I would call the 2014 session a great success.  But that doesn’t mean our work is over.

Because of federal funding uncertainty in Washington and the continued efforts in Kansas to rely on KDOT to fund other agencies’ needs, we must continue to be vigilant about the use of the dollars intended for infrastructure investments in our state.

I am happy to report that T-WORKS is on-time and on-budget and scheduled to be completed as promised.  However, we are going to continue to asses our current outgoing transfers and those long-term impacts.  

KDOT remains committed to completing all of the transportation projects programmed under T-WORKS and we will maintain that commitment even if we must tighten our belt in other ways.  Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to visiting with you when we tour the state for local consult meetings this fall.

Mike King
Secretary of Transportation
Director of the Kansas Turnpike

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Throwback Thursday

We're going all the way back to September 1919.  This is construction work in Reno County.  We want to say thank you to all construction workers, past and present, whose hard work allows us to travel freely and safely across the country.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Telling a family the person would have the hardest part of my job." 

Why didn't the person live?  Check out the video below to find out.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Click It or TIcket News Conference tomorrow

Only about 80% of Kansans are wearing seatbelts, and that’s a problem. 

“Every study shows that when seat belt use increases, fatalities decrease,” said Chris Bortz, program manager for traffic safety at KDOT.

On Wednesday, KDOT and Kansas law enforcement officials will announce an enhanced seatbelt enforcement to occur later this month. Also speaking will be Shelby Feugate, a 22-year-old woman who thought seatbelts were “uncomfortable” and lost use of her legs from injuries in a car crash. All participants will be available for interviews.

WHO:            Shelby Feugate, paraplegic crash victim; Jenny Scheve, emergency room nurse; Sgt. Jim Baker, Shawnee Police Department and Chris Bortz, Kansas Department of Transportation.

WHAT:         Kansas Click It or Ticket enhanced enforcement  details.

WHEN:         10 – 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 14.

WHERE:      Shawnee Police Department, 5850 Renner Road, Shawnee, Kan. 66217