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Kansas Governor Joins Sen. Moran, Rep. Davids to Break Ground on De Soto Road Project Near Panasonic

DE SOTO, KS — Governor Laura Kelly recently joined U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, U.S. Representative Sharice Davids, and other state, local, and private sector leaders for a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of the De Soto Local Road Improvement Project.

The Kansas Department of Transportation’s (KDOT) 4.5-mile street improvement project will support the $4 billion, 4,000-job Panasonic Energy electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility currently under construction. The project, which represents the largest private investment in Kansas history, was announced last July.

“Kansas is delivering the transportation infrastructure improvements needed to support the Panasonic facility during its construction and to serve employees, suppliers, and shippers once it is up and running,” Kelly said. “This De Soto project is one more example of why Kansas is truly a winning investment for companies small, large, and mega-sized.”

Other speakers at the ceremony included De Soto Mayor Rick Walker; Johnson County Assistant Manager Aaron Otto; Clarkson Construction President Bill Clarkson; and Allan Swan, Deputy Leader of Panasonic’s Global Mobility Energy Division.

The infrastructure improvements, scheduled for completion in late 2024, update the current two-lane asphalt road to a divided four-lane roadway with curb, gutter, and sidewalks. The work will generally be along the existing footprint of 103rd Street between Evening Star Road and the Lexington Avenue/K-10 interchange and a one-mile section of Astra Parkway south of 103rd Street.

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“Panasonic's $4 billion investment is a game changer for our community, but we must make sure our public systems, from housing to education to infrastructure, can keep up with this growth,” Davids said. “This past March, I worked a construction shift alongside local workers to see how the city was preparing for the new road improvements. ... With this groundbreaking, folks traveling to the Panasonic plant in the future will be able to do so safely and efficiently.”

“Expanding the infrastructure in De Soto will help support the new Panasonic plant and the community,” Moran said. “This project is a testament to the state, county, and city working together to invest in the success of Panasonic and attract new businesses to the area.”

The $61 million construction project is funded through KDOT’s Economic Development Program as part of the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program. The City of De Soto and Johnson County contributed matching funds. Clarkson Construction Company was selected to build the project using alternative delivery methods to enable construction to start quickly.

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