Friday, August 29, 2014

Travelers, K-Staters beware of construction this weekend

Thanks to improving economic conditions, the travel industry group, AAA, predicts that more Americans will be traveling this holiday weekend than have the past five years. More than 2.7 million are expected to be traveling this weekend in the organization's West-North Central region which includes Kansas.

If you're traveling through Kansas this weekend, click here for some tips on how to avoid lines caused by construction.

Those headed to the K-State football game on Saturday will want to allow extra time as there are several construction projects along I-70 and U.S. 24.  Click here for the complete list of projects.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Here is a look at a K-96 bridge inspection in August 2007.  Bridge inspections play a critical role in making sure our transportation system is safe for travelers.   Approximately 88% of bridges on the state highway system are in good condition, which exceeds the agency's performance target of 85%. 

More than 5,000 bridges are found on the state highway system-- which is just a small portion of the total number of bridges in Kansas.  When you count all local roads and the turnpike, there are 25,067 bridges across the Sunflower State.  The average age of these bridges is 47 years.   To learn more about Kansas bridges, click here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Export Forum Today

More than 85 people are in attendance at today's export forum in Olathe.  KDOT along with the Kansas Departments of Commerce and Agriculture are hosting the event to bring together the public and private sectors to identify transportation challenges faced by businesses and discuss innovative ways to streamline supply chains and stimulate international trade.

 Please follow our twitter account KDOTHQ for updates from today's event.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Get online so you're not stuck in line this weekend

Whether you are getting ready for the last bash of the summer or getting ready to start football season it’s helpful to know what is on the road ahead. Before you get stopped by a big detour check out the KDOT’s travel planning system. 

The KanDrive website and 511 phone system can be used by travelers to help plan their routes throughout Kansas.  

KanDrive,, is the traveler website for Kansas and surrounding states and provides essential information for planning your trip. KanDrive includes camera images, interactive maps, road conditions and work zones, as well as links to transportation resources including rest areas and travel and tourism sites. 

Smartphone users can access the website by going to on their web browser and bookmarking the page to their home screen where it becomes a shortcut to the website and can function like a phone app. If users would prefer to use the text-based mobile website, it can be found at  

Much of the same information can be accessed by calling 5-1-1 in Kansas or 1-866-511-KDOT (5368) in the U.S. 

An additional feature on the KanDrive website is “My Kansas 511”, a free subscription based service that allows users to receive text or email message alerts about the conditions on the route they choose. To subscribe go to and select more travel info. 

KDOT encourages users to know before they go by using these services from home or in a vehicle that is parked at a safe location. If you are involved in a crash on a Kansas highway call *47 (*HP) from a cellular phone for a highway patrol dispatcher or dial 911.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Motoring Monday: Bridges of Cowley County

The Bridges of Madison County may have had a movie named after them, but there are three times as many Bridges of Cowley County in south central Kansas. The 18 stone arch bridges spread across the county have become a popular tourist destination in recent years. These structures, all built before 1920 and many located on the National Register of Historic Places, are located throughout the county.
For a map of the bridges, visit the Cowley County website by clicking here. Or you can contact the Winfield Convention and Tourism office for information on which bridges are easiest to access.
A few facts about stone arch bridges in Kansas –

  • There are a total of 165 stone arch bridges in 35 counties

  • The longest stone arch bridge (199 feet) is in Cowley County

  • The shortest bridge (20.01 feet) is in Ottawa County

  • The oldest bridge was built in 1870 in Pottawatomie County

  • The last stone arch bridge was built in 1956

Friday, August 22, 2014

Touch a Truck in Downtown Topeka

Need some plans for Labor Day weekend?   Check out Touch a Truck event in downtown Topeka.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the people that build, protect, and serve our cities.  Most of the trucks on-hand will be construction vehicles, but there will also be firetrucks and police cars. Children (and adults) will be able to touch, climb on, and learn about these big pieces of equipment and the people that operate them. 

"Touch a Truck" will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday Aug. 30th. in Topeka on Quincy St. between 6th and 9th streets.

A number of our transportation partners, including the Kansas Turnpike Authority, are sponsoring this event.

Admission is free if you bring a canned good for Harvesters.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

$1.2 billion in new transportation projects will create jobs

Hundreds of projects that will improve Kansas roads and bridges, as well as create short- and long-term jobs, have been scheduled by KDOT for the next two years.

The projects will preserve, modernize and expand roads on both state and local road systems. The work list includes 464 highway projects, 194 bridge/interchange projects and 1,603 miles of improvements. 

“This continues the steady flow of work – and the construction jobs created by that work – under the 10-year T-WORKS transportation program passed during the 2010 legislative session,” said Transportation Secretary Mike King.  

Secretary King is making the announcements today during visits to Liberal, Wichita and McPherson. 

The estimated cost of the work, for which construction will be underway during the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years, is $1.2 billion. About 65 percent of the projects are considered preservation work, which will protect the investment Kansans have already made in the state’s public road system. 
“The construction work will create jobs for hundreds of workers, who will spend their paychecks in communities all over the state, spreading the benefits far beyond the construction industry,” said Secretary King. 

“But the better news is the long-term job prospects these improvements will help make possible.” 

To view the entire list of projects, click here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

KHP is getting new digs

Kansas Transportation Secretary Mike King participated in the ground breaking ceremony for a new headquarters building for the Kansas Highway Patrol's Troop F in Kechi, just northeast of Wichita yesterday.

This new facility comes after many attempts at securing a new building, after outgrowing the current location. The Troop F area encompasses 13 counties in south central Kansas, including the Wichita metro area.

The new building will be shared between the KHP and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. The facility comes at no cost to taxpayers, as it is all being funded through asset forfeiture funds.

The KHP is an important partner for KDOT and our agency would like to wish them a smooth and speedy construction of their new facility.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: The Cost of Congestion

How much money is lost each year due to congestion on American highways?
A. $20 million
B. $500 million
C. $1 billion
D. $100 billion

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. economy loses $100 billion each year due to congestion on major urban highways.  This is because of the lost fuel and time due to sitting in traffic.

This is not good to say the least.  Or as the Los Angeles Times put it in a recent article. "America's transportation infrastructure, once an engine of mobility and productivity, has fallen into such disrepair that it's become an economic albatross."

The article cites that the age of most highways combined with increased traffic as the main contributors to the problem.  Click here to read the full article.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Motoring Monday: Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas

If you’re looking for something a little unique, the town of Lucas along K-18 in Russell County is the place to visit.

Lucas has long been known as the home of the Garden of Eden, a log cabin that S.P. Dinsmoor spent 22 years in the early 1900s decorating with limestone and concrete structures on the outside and handmade items on the inside.

Just up the alley from the Garden of Eden is the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest 
Versions of the World’s Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum. It is a traveling roadside attraction based in Lucas most of the year with a collection of miniature replicas of things such as badgers, otters, bulls, balls of twine, and baseball bats billed as World's Largest.

In addition to these places are:

  • Garden of Isis, featuring art made from doll bodies, toys, kitchen utensils and other recycled materials.

  • Rock Garden, built by Florence Deeble using garden rocks brought back from her travels for nearly 50 years.

  • Grassroots Art Center, three buildings in downtown Lucas filled with art.

  • Flying Pig Studio & Gallery, highlighting artwork made from porcelain.

And all these locations are within walking distance in the small community of less than 500 people. No wonder Lucas was designated the “Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas” by former Gov. Bill Graves in 1996.

Friday, August 15, 2014


New Kansas bicycle guides are available
The 2014-2015 bicycle map includes information on traffic volumes and shoulder widths on Kansas highways, the rail-trails and byways in the state as well as the bicycle facilities available in some Kansas communities.  Maps are available free of charge and can be requested by emailing or calling (785) 296-8593.

Road, bridge projects to be announced
More than 460 road and bridge projects scheduled for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 will be announced by Kansas Transportation Secretary Mike King during a three-city tour Thursday, Aug. 21.  More information about the tour is available here.

Mother of infant killed by drunk driver fights back
Wanda Stewart's three-month-old son was killed when a drunk driver slammed into her car ejecting the baby from the car, causing his death.  Stewart spoke at a press conference on Wednesday in Wichita as part of KDOT's annual campaign to keep impaired drivers off the road.  To learn more about this event, click here.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Today, we're going way back to 1911 to a Good Roads Parade in Ottawa.  This events was part of the Good Roads movement in Kansas.  

In 1900 the Kansas Good Roads Association was organized.  At that time, the Kansas Constitution actually banned the state from financing any kind of transportation improvements. This 1859 provision was intended to protect Kansas from falling deep in debt to railroad or canal promoters as some eastern states had done.

The Kansas Good Roads Association, Kansas Highways Federation, 365 Days Road Club, and other automotive groups lobbied for a state highway department and removal of restrictions on state funding of roads. They also explained the law, organized groups to petition for better highways, wrote the petitions and proposed new benefit districts, and circulated information on the benefits of better roads. They printed and distributed maps and guidebooks to advise motorists traveling through Kansas.

They also hosted events such as parades in communities across Kansas such as the one you see in these photos. 

Kansas Governor Arthur Capper proclaimed Good Roads Day on August 18, 1915, which called for volunteers to work on the roads across Kansas. Hundreds of Kansans participated in these events to help improve the roads.  

To learn more about the Good Roads Movement, click here

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Road, bridge projects to be announced

 More than 460 road and bridge projects scheduled for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 will be announced by Kansas Transportation Secretary Mike King during a three-city tour Thursday, Aug. 21. The day’s schedule is as follows:

9 a.m.
Rock Island Railroad Depot
4 Rock Island Road

11 a.m.
WICHway traffic management center
714 N. Main

2 p.m.
Krehbiel’s Specialty Meats
1636 Mohawk Road

In addition to Secretary King, speakers will include local leaders. The entire list of projects will be posted on the KDOT website at the time of the announcements.