Thursday, February 28, 2019

KDOT internships offer valuable work experiences

Lorenzo Hernandez served as a Mechanic Intern at
the Garden City district shop last summer.
Transitioning from the classroom to the workforce can be difficult for some students. While they have the knowledge and instruction to do a job, the workforce requires initiative, responsibility and problem solving that they may not have been able to practice in the classroom. But Garden City native Lorenzo Hernandez doesn’t expect that to be an issue when he graduates from Northwest Kansas Technical College in May.

Hernandez served as a Mechanic Intern at the Garden City district shop last summer, and he returned over Christmas break to get a little more experience before returning to school for his final semester.  

According to Hernandez, his time as intern was especially beneficial in helping him take what he learned in college and applying it in the shop. 

“At college, we review in the classroom and go to the lab to diagnose and work on a problem, but we have to wait for the instructor to do things," Hernandez said. "Here, they tell me what to do and I have a mentor to help me, but I really learned how things work in a shop.”

KDOT’s Equipment Mechanic Internship program began in 2015 and is designed to help students enrolled in agricultural, diesel and heavy equipment technical programs across the state be better prepared to compete for permanent positions with KDOT.  

Interns are expected to perform normal mechanic duties based on their knowledge and capabilities and are paired with a mentor who is responsible for helping train and supervisor them during their internship. 

“The program benefits students by helping them get the hands-on experience they need, but also benefits KDOT by helping the agency recruit, train and hire individuals who can contribute to a productive, skilled and diverse work environment," said Jeff Tice, KDOT Assistant Equipment Manager in Topeka. 

Tice serves as the point of contact for interested schools and instructors and coordinates with each KDOT District to place students. 

Hernandez says he has enjoyed his time at KDOT, especially working with the guys in the shop and says he would do it again. 

“You get to see and experience so much here from brand new pick-ups, to tractors, mowers and forklifts,” Hernandez said. 

If you know a student that might be interested in an internship at KDOT, contact Jeff Tice at 785-296-5942 or

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Digging deeper: Road condition health requires more in-depth analysis

The health of our road conditions goes deeper than how smooth the surface is.

KDOT engineering technician Bill Vacura operates the core drill on a section of U.S. 283 in southern Norton County.
Engineering technicians from the Norton district materials lab took advantage of some nice February days to obtain several core samples from U.S. 283 and K-9 in northwest Kansas.

Vacura (left) and Mark Weiser, engineering technician specialist,
 extract the core sample from the roadway.

While it’s easy to see how conditions are on top of the road, that driving surface is just the tip of the iceberg, with many more layers underneath. Core samples allow KDOT to take a deeper look below the surface to see how the various layers of pavement are performing.

Vacura (left) and Mark Weiser, engineering technician specialist, extract the core sample from the roadway.
Technicians utilize a specialized core drill to obtain the samples. The drill acts much like a hole saw and is water-cooled to keep the bit from overheating. Once the technicians have drilled to the desired depth, the core is retrieved, labeled with the date and location, and sent back to the lab for analysis. Measurements are also taken of both the hole and core, then the hole is filled and patched with asphalt.

Weiser and Vacura patch the hole left behind
by the core drill. 
Back at the lab, technicians photograph the sample and conduct a visual assessment on the conditions of the different layers. They also note if the core was extracted as a whole or if it was in separate pieces. This information helps KDOT engineers determine what kind of action may be needed on the road and how deep that work needs to take place.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Seat belt enforcement now underway near area high schools

In 2018, nearly half of all Kansas teens who died in traffic crashes were not wearing a seat belt, that reflects a similar statistic of nearly 50 percent of all traffic deaths in Kansas were unbuckled. 

That's one of the many reasons why the Kansas Highway Patrol, area law enforcement agencies and agencies in both Missouri and Oklahoma will participate in the annual “High Visibility Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign” near area high schools. The enforcement campaign began yesterday and it will run through March 8. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA) seat belts have been proven to be one of the best ways to keep drivers and passengers safe in the case of a crash. 

This initiative is coupled with the Seat Belts Are for Everyone (SAFE) program in Kansas’ high schools. SAFE is a locally sustained program, administered by the students of the high school they attend.  The focus is on reducing deaths and injuries on Kansas roadways. Currently in Kansas, 168 high schools from 70 counties participate in the SAFE program.

“Troopers will be working with local law enforcement partners in an aggressive education and enforcement campaign focused on the importance of seat belt usage,” said Colonel Mark Bruce, Superintendent of the KHP. “Seat belts have been proven to save lives and prevent injuries, and our goal is to make sure all young adults buckle up in all seating positions.” 

Everyone is reminded to buckle up. Every trip. Every time. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Public invited to Transit Day at the Capitol on Feb. 27

The public is invited to attend the annual Transit Day at the Capitol in Topeka from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Feb. 27. 

It is hosted by the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Public Transit Association.

Meet the state’s service providers, tour new transit and para-transit vehicles, learn how 
transit reinforces economic development in the state and find out more about new technologies being used. 

The free event will include display tables in the first-floor rotunda and vehicles available to tour outside on the apron surrounding the capitol. A briefing on public transportation in Kansas will take place at 10 a.m. that day in the first-floor rotunda area.

Speakers will include:

  • KDOT Division of Planning and Development Director Chris Herrick,
  • House Transportation Chair Rep. Richard Proehl,
  • Senate Transportation Chair Sen. Mike Petersen,
  • Anne Smith, Chair of the Kansas Public Transit Association.

The event highlights the work that more than 150 different agencies from across the state do to provide transit and para-transit services to people across Kansas.

“Public transit is here for all – rural, urban, young and old alike. It supports the local economy and gives access to jobs and healthcare,” said KDOT Public Transit Manager Mike Spadafore. “Transit Day will give everyone the opportunity to learn about transit and para-transit services in Kansas and our goal of keeping the people of Kansas living in and connected to their communities for as long as possible.”

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Hot News: Damaged steel bridge girders can be repaired

By Tom Hein, Wichita Public Affairs Manager

In December 2018, a large load struck the underside of a KDOT bridge on K-96 near Maize.
 Extensive damage to steel girders was obvious but the distortions were deemed repairable.

In December 2018, damage to the underside of a bridge on K-96 near Maize occurred.  
In January, a contractor was hired to use a heat straightening process to repair the damaged girders. Steel has a memory and generally wants to go back to its original shape. 

Contractors were hired to repair the underside of the bridge by using a heat straightening process. 

By heating in the right place and at the right temperature, as the steel cools from brief heating process, the metal shrinks and pushes back to its original shape.

Along with using the heat straightening process, other tools like clamps and hydraulic jacks are used to fix the bridge. 
Besides judiciously placed heatings, clamps and hydraulic jacks are used to help influence the return of the steel to its former shape.

The bridge on K-96 is now repaired. 
After seven days of the heat straightening process, the bridge damage has been reversed. 

In a 2008 report, The Federal Highway Administration cited that heat straightening can be traced to the early days of welding. Experiments to reverse distortions by heating steel in specific patterns were successful. Originally considered more art form than a scientific process, the techniques eventually generated wide-spread acceptance through engineering evaluation and research. Today, heat straightening is considered an accepted science and will continue to be used when necessary.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

My Kansas 511: More ways to get you the information you need to travel

By Tom Hein,
Wichita Public Affairs Manager 

Most travelers are familiar with the 511 phone resource, the national roadway information system initiated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and operating in 35 states (including Kansas). But many are not aware that alerts on highway closures or other situations that might affect a trip or daily commute can be pushed directly to their smartphone or home computer.

My Kansas 511 is a free service providing drivers with up-to-the-minute information via alerts by email or text messages. To subscribe to the service, create an account at

You can now tailor this service to your needs, choosing days of the week and time slots that you want alerts to be sent. Then you will choose your preferences for notification on flooded roadways, highway closures, severe weather conditions or specific traffic alerts, like the ones offered by WICHway, Wichita’s intelligent transportation system management center.

Next you can choose the highways for which you need information. Because Kansas highways often traverse the entire state, you can choose only those segments that apply to your travels.

After setting your parameters, the service will push out relevant information when an event or problem occurs. With your newly created My Kansas 511 account, you can tweak these settings so that you’re never overwhelmed with too much information. This can happen during volatile spring weather if you choose to receive, for instance, all Kansas thunderstorm warnings.

Give the service a trial run – you can always unsubscribe. And of course, we advise drivers to check these messages only when they are NOT actively driving.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Don’t plow into our snow plows

Photo Courtesy: Kansas Highway Patrol. Traffic follows behind KDOT snow plows on Friday, Feb. 15.

This winter has felt like it has dragged on forever. Our crews have been out fighting snow more this season than in several winters’ past. Each time it snows, we encourage drivers to be more aware of our equipment on the roads.

“Don’t crowd the plows,” and “Help us help you, give our crews room.” 

Unfortunately, our crews still get hit and the results are usually very serious. Some drivers who have hit plows have lost their lives and others have walked away with a minor injuries and massive repair bill to their personal vehicles.

Last weekend, travelers smashed into five of our snow plows in Johnson County. And another plow was hit in the Topeka Metro Area on Friday night.

In an interview with KCTV5, Drake Jennings, KDOT Highway Maintenance Superintendent, said that drivers hit the plows when they were trying to pass them, before the lanes were even plowed. 

Damage to one of our plows, after it was struck by a vehicle from the past weekend's storm.

Even though our trucks could still operate, time was lost. Each time one of our trucks is hit, it takes time to fill out paperwork and assess the damage. Doing so can take an hour or more depending on how bad the situation is. 

When it comes to clearing roadways, losing time means the roadways can’t be cleared as quickly. 

During inclement weather there are some things we’d like drivers to keep in mind:

  1. Plow trucks drive at speeds slower than the posted speeds to help them direct snow properly and apply the right quantities of salt behind them.  Once snow or sleet start falling, mentally prepare for the fact that not only will be roads be slick, but also that you could come upon a slow-moving plow on your drive. 

  2. Don’t attempt to pass our trucks.  Many of the crashes with plow trucks involve drivers fish-tailing on the way around the plow. And, nNot only is the lane that is currently being plowed probably the safest lane to travel in, but visibility as you come around and in front of the plow is usually a lot worse   When road conditions are slick, we ask for a little extra patience from everyone so the roads can get treated quicker.

  3. Be aware that tow-plows can take up to two lanes and the blades could be hidden beneath the snow.  Visibility going around the plows is the factor in many of the crashes recently.
  4. It’s important for drivers to slow down for conditions, even when we’ve been out treating.  During winter conditions, especially as we transition into and out of storms, patchy ice is always a possibility, especially on bridges, ramps and overpasses. 

  5. Don’t drive distracted. On a normal day it takes 100 percent focus to drive safely, and in winter weather conditions that focus is even more crucial to driving safely.
Your KDOT crews work hard to serve Kansans, often putting their own lives on the line to keep our roads and highways safe. Please give our crews, emergency responders and law enforcement room to work when we are out on the roads, so we can get things back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

Monday, February 18, 2019

KDOT: A Farmer’s Workplace

KDOT employs many farmers across the state. Here are a few who work in north central Kansas.

Ashley Tammen,
Public Affairs Manager, north central Kansas

For several KDOT employees, operating equipment happens both on the job and in the fields. Several of the KDOT employees in north central Kansas have taken up farming as a side job or hobby, or they help a fellow farmer during the busy seasons. Their supervisors said that the hard work that is instilled in them as farmers and their experience operating equipment makes them great employees at KDOT. 

Here are a few stories of KDOT farmers:

Tom Wendell in Beloit has experience not only as an Equipment Operator working for KDOT, but he also raises livestock and runs a farm. Wendell has been with KDOT for 42 years and raises cattle, sheep and goats. He plants and bales his own hay, which he uses to feed them in the evenings after getting home from work.

 “Sometimes I have gotten home at 8:30 p.m., after working a 12-hour shift at KDOT and after going out to the barn to check on the lambs I discover a baby is born so I am out there till 1:30 or 2 a.m. helping take care of the newborn lamb,” said Wendell.

Ed Dohl, Equipment Operator in Lincoln, does a little bit of everything when it comes to farming. He has cattle, sheep, wheat, milo, soybeans, a horse and even a mule. Dohl says a typical day for him starts with chores on the farm and putting wood in the wood stove before heading to work. Dohl says KDOT is a good place for a farmer to work and he likes the early summer hours, so he can get off early and work on the farm.

Rodney Howard, Highway Maintenance Supervisor in Burr Oak, grew up on his family farm and started with KDOT in September 1977 as an Equipment Operator in Mankato. He has continued farming while working for KDOT and now supervises the crew in Mankato. Howard farms about 150 acres of wheat and 150 acres of soybeans on his family farm. 

“KDOT has been very good to me and my family, and I have tried to be helpful in return,” said Howard.

 “I enjoy working for KDOT. There’s great benefits, flexibility to help farm, and it’s nice that we’re not always doing the same thing because jobs change from season to season,” said Lance Wilton, Equipment Operator Specialist in Lincoln.

These are only some of their stories, and many KDOT employees also help with harvest and planting every year. KDOT appreciates these farmers for their hard work and being part of the KDOT team!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Governor outlines T-WORKS projects, additional investments to move forward with transportation funding

Governor Laura Kelly and Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz announce plans to invest $160 million in revenue included in the FY2020 budget.

Governor Laura Kelly joined Kansas Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz to announce the Kansas Department of Transportation’s (KDOT) plans to invest $160 million in revenue that is included in the Governor’s FY 2020 budget for transportation.

Governor Kelly addresses the audience and announces four delayed T-WORKS projects across Kansas will resume construction.

The $160 million comes from reducing the amount of money transferred out of the State Highway Fund. Since 2011, more than $2 billion has been transferred out of the State Highway Fund, causing costly project delays, reduced highway preservation work, a decline in the health of our highway system and an inability to plan for future projects.

“With this $160 million in revenue, we will strengthen our highway system, take steps towards completing T-WORKS, and provide resources to communities across the state,” said Governor Laura Kelly.

“These are important steps forward, but to be clear, we still have a long way to go in order to get our transportation system where it should be.”

With the $160 million in FY 2020, KDOT will:

Increase the highway preservation investment from $350 - $400 million
• Move forward with four delayed T-WORKS projects:
  o US-54 in Seward County (Expansion project; let for construction Fall 2019)
  o US-169 in Anderson County (Modernization project; let for construction Fall 2019)
  o US-281 in Russell County (Modernization project; let for construction Spring 2020)
  o US-50 in Lyon County (Expansion Project; let for construction Spring 2020)
• Reinstate the Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program
• Implement a new cost-share program for state/local partnerships
• Enhance its safety program
• Increase City Connecting Link maintenance payments
• Increase funding for modal programs (e.g., transit, aviation, rail and bike/pedestrian)

These investments are aligned with recommendations from the Joint Legislative Transportation Vision Task Force that met last year.

Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz discusses investments at a press conference held yesterday at KDOT Headquarters. 
“We look forward to working with communities and our partners across the state to deliver these investments,” said Secretary Julie Lorenz. 

“We know that funding reductions have impacted the health of our system. I’m so pleased to work with Governor Kelly to take this important step forward to achieving the goals the task force laid out and improving our state’s transportation system.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Black History Month transportation legends: Garrett Morgan

There is a lot of technology in the modern day that our society takes for granted. Yet, all the technology we use on daily basis came from inventions created to make life a little easier, and in some cases, safer. Today’s featured transportation legend saw a problem that needed to be fixed and laid down the foundation for an object most people use every day: The three-signal traffic light.

Garrett Morgan was an inventor who was born on March 4, 1877, in Paris, Kentucky.  After leaving home at the age of 14, he made it to Ohio and became a handyman in Cincinnati. Later, he moved to Cleveland and worked as a sewing machine repairman. After a few years, he was able to open his own sewing machine repair shop.

An example of Morgan's traffic signal. Source: National Museum of American History

In the early 1920s, horse-drawn carriages, bikes, wagons, streetcars, automobiles and pedestrians shared the same infrastructure and streets became quickly congested. At this time, there were manually operated traffic signals at intersections but their effectiveness left much to be desired. They switched between “Stop” and “Go” quickly and gave drivers little-to-no warning. Without time to react, collisions were common.

 It is said that Morgan saw a serious crash and it prompted to him to design a three-way traffic signal to help give drivers more time and clear intersections before traffic entered.

“The signal Morgan patented was a T-shaped pole with three settings,” according to “At night, when traffic was light, it could be set at half-mast (like a blinking yellow light today), warning drivers to proceed carefully through the intersection.”

Ohio History Central’s website said that the invention had three types of signals that said; “Stop,” “Go,” and “Stop in all directions.” The latter signal was created to allow pedestrians to cross the streets safely.

Morgan sold the rights to his invention to General Electric for $40,000. He is responsible for several other inventions, including the gas mask. He even developed his own newspaper called the Cleveland Call.

Morgan died in 1963 and although his traffic signal is not the same model we use today, it is because of Morgan that we have an interim or “caution” signal that helps clear intersections so traffic can move at a safer pace.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

KDOT awards $8.5 million in Transportation Alternatives projects

The KDOT Transportation Alternatives Program helps fund facilities for improved bike and pedestrian paths, and Safe Routes to School, as well as other project types. 

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has selected 23 projects for inclusion in its Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program for Federal Fiscal Year 2020.

Eligible projects under this federal program include facilities for pedestrians and bicycles; scenic or historical highway programs; landscaping and scenic beautification; historic preservation of transportation facilities; conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails; control or removal of outdoor advertising; archaeological planning and research related to transportation; and the Safe Routes to School program.

KDOT received 46 applications from eligible project sponsors requesting nearly $36.9 million in federal funds. Cities and counties across the state submitted applications for the TA program, which were received during an open application period from June 14, 2018, to Sept. 10, 2018.

 “We were happy to see so many quality applications from across the state this year. This proves how popular the TA program is and how important these types of projects are to Kansas communities,” said Matt Messina, Coordinator of the Transportation Alternatives Program for KDOT. “The main goals of the TA program are to help provide communities with more transportation options and to preserve or improve what they already have, and that’s what these projects will do.”

KDOT reviews and evaluates every application and makes selections based on criteria developed using input from various internal departments and external partners, such as safety and network improvements, cost estimates, project readiness, public support and other factors such as geography and funding distribution. All project sponsors are required to provide at least 20 percent of the cost as a local cash match and are 100 percent responsible for non-participating items.

For a full list of the projects go here.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Using resources wisely: KDOT employees work smart to keep Kansas moving

KDOT employees routinely engineer ways to work smarter to save time and resources. They know it’s important to use taxpayer dollars wisely.

Two recent examples of working smarter come from District Five’s Medicine Lodge and Anthony subareas in south central Kansas.

Dewayne Roland, Highway Maintenance Supervisor for the Medicine Lodge Subarea creates a machine that helps him program school zone signals. 

The interesting contraption hanging on the wall to the side of Dewayne Roland, Highway Maintenance Supervisor for the Medicine Lodge Subarea, is one of them. 

Modeled after a similar creation that crews at the Anthony Subarea built, it saves Roland a lot of time programming school zone lights on K-2 in Barber County.

Roland checks the calendar for South Barber High School online, and inputs days that school is out for holidays, in-service days and the like. Then he takes the programmed control box to each of four poles and plugs it in, downloading the data he input so the lights don't flash on days school is closed. 

Now it takes just one person about two minutes per set of lights to program the school zones. It used to take two people.

"One person would read out the dates, and one would program the control box," Roland said. "It saves two people having to stand there and program each light. We just plug it into an identical control box, and it automatically downloads everything. Used to be you'd stand there 15, 20, 30 minutes."

Crews in Anthony recently completed building a storage rack for a hydraulic hammer that will help protect the piece of equipment by keeping it stored upright and out of the elements.
Equipment Operator Jason Wolff and Equipment Operator Senior Paul Thompson built the rack using six retired guard rail posts as H-beams, snow plow backup blades and spare iron.

Anthony Highway Maintenance Supervisor Greg Bayless, left, and Equipment Operator Jason Wolff pose with a storage rack for a hydraulic hammer that crews made with spare parts. 

The rack can be loaded with a forklift or loaded onto a truck. It can be moved to a job site or to storage.

“It’s supposed to be stored in an upright position with pressure on the point,” said Greg Bayless, Highway Maintenance Supervisor. “We’re trying to take care of our equipment.”

The rack with the hydra hammer and attachments on board weighs 1,760 pounds and took a week to make.

“I let them run with the design because they’re good builders to begin with,” Bayless said of Wolff and Thompson.

Hydra hammers are used for tasks such as hammering and breaking up concrete, cutting asphalt and tamping down materials such as dirt.

The hydra hammer fits the subarea’s new backhoe/loader. Crews can take the bucket off the backhoe and attach the hydra hammer.

The Area Mechanic in Winfield found videos about the hydra hammer, and “I had the whole subarea crew watch all of them,” Bayless said.

The Anthony crew estimates it would have cost $5,500 to have an outside company manufacture a similar rack. Anthony shares the hydra hammer, new rack and attachments with the Wellington Subarea. Similarly, the Wellington Subarea shares equipment Anthony doesn’t have.

“We want to be good stewards of KDOT resources,” Bayless said.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

#IAMKDOT: Bonnie Hirsh

Stop by KDOT’s Dodge City Area Office and you’ll be greeted by Administrative Specialist Bonnie Hirsh.  

According to her co-workers, she’s always there with a smile and a desire to help. Hirsh has served as the Administrative Specialist in the Dodge City Area Office for just more than five years and fondly refers to her co-workers and the Subarea crews she works with every day as her family. 

Most days, Hirsh is busy processing payments, ordering parts and helping the crews with time card entries and other issues that need to be handled so the crews can do their work. She’s always willing to go the extra mile for those around her, whether it’s bringing treats for a celebration, or answering calls and updating road conditions during snow events.

In fact, her most memorable moment at KDOT has been the guys bringing her a sleeping bag one night, so she could catch a nap on the office floor during a snow event.  She says the best part of her job is her KDOT family and KDOT celebrations, like the summer barbecue and the Christmas party.

Hirsh graduated from Kinsley High School and attended Dodge City Community College. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially her granddaughter, Haddie. She also teaches religion classes at her church and enjoys reading mysteries, playing cards and cooking. 

Do you know a KDOT worker that deserves
recognition? Nominations are open - email today to get started.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Wildfire Awareness Week: It only takes a spark

Gov. Laura Kelly has declared this week as Wildfire Awareness Week.

According to the K-State Research and Extension's website, The 2019 wildfire season may start earlier this year. The southwest and central parts of the state could even see an increase in fire weather events. Those areas have experienced extreme fires during the past few years, including the Anderson Creek and Starbuck fires. 

More than 800,000 acres burned and there was more than $80 million in property damage as a result of those events. 

While the causes for the majority of fires are accidental, there are plenty of ways you can help avoid unintentionally starting a grass fire while driving.

Double check to make sure trailer safety chains are secured. Dangling chains can get hot as they hit the pavement and cause sparks, which can ignite nearby vegetation.

Don’t park your car in tall vegetation. Emergencies happen. Sometimes you need to safely pull off to the side of the road. Be aware of your surroundings. Your car’s hot engine or exhaust system could ignite tall grass if it smolders long enough.

Check your exhaust system: Loose or damaged exhaust systems could allow small sparks to escape.

Don’t throw cigarette butts out of your vehicle. Cigarettes are manufactured to burn slowly. When thrown out of car windows, they have the potential to ignite dry grass and brush hours after being tossed out of a moving car. 

Wildfires and grass fires along the side of the roads are serious and can impede traffic due to lack of visibility. Taking these preventative steps could keep you and other travelers safe.

For more information on how to avoid wildfires check out this website.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Public encouraged to take survey on statewide UAS usage

The Kansas Department of Transportation’s (KDOT) Division of Aviation is seeking public opinion on the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or drones in Kansas airspace.

Individuals of all ages, occupations and backgrounds are encouraged to participate in the 10-question online survey available at until Feb. 28. 

Through the survey, KDOT hopes to gain a better understanding of the public’s familiarity and opinion on UAS use scenarios to drive operations for the Kansas UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP).

This federally-initiated program will help tackle the most significant challenges to integrating drones into the national airspace and will reduce risks to public safety and security. The Kansas team is focused on efforts in Long Line Linear Infrastructure Inspection (i.e. highways, railroads, energy distribution lines, etc.) and Precision Agriculture. IPP partners include state universities, Kansas UAS joint task force members and industry leaders. For a full list visit:

KDOT is currently conducting UAS test flights in the airspace north of Gypsum and over partner right-of-way infrastructure and partner-owned land. These operations will support a Phase II safety case that will include Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations.

About Kansas UAS IPP
KDOT is one of only 10 national leaders conducting advanced UAS operations to guide future rule-making that will result in access to new technologies for the nation. The IPP is the result of a 2017 Presidential Memorandum issued to the U.S. Department of Transportation.  

Monday, February 4, 2019

New 2019-2020 Kansas transportation maps available

Whether you want to find the closest airport, discover new places of interest or travel along a Scenic Byway, the new 2019-2020 Kansas Official State Transportation Map has it all.

The map, published by the Kansas Department of Transportation, highlights numerous tourist and scenic locations, including state parks and lakes, as well as the recreation areas across the state.

City/county indexes and a distance map allow motorists to pick the best route to their destination. Visitor resources, helpful phone numbers/websites and locations of museums and hospitals are also provided.

On the back of the map are inset maps of Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka and 13 other cities. There is also road condition information and details on how to get roadside assistance.

Maps will be available at various travel information centers, attractions and other locations across the state. They can also be requested on the KDOT website at