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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $46.9M in Funding for Two Projects in Kansas

SALINA, KS — U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announces that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $46.9 million to support two projects in Kansas from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program to help move forward on projects that modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, and intermodal transportation and make the transportation systems safer, more accessible, more affordable, and more sustainable.

This year’s total allocations nationwide include more than $2.2 billion due to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides an additional $7.5 billion over five years for the program to help meet the strong demand to help projects get moving across the country.

“We are proud to support so many outstanding infrastructure projects in communities large and small, modernizing America’s transportation systems to make them safer, more affordable, more accessible, and more sustainable,” Buttigieg said. “Using funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this year we are supporting more projects than ever before.”

Projects were evaluated on several criteria, including safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness and opportunity, partnership and collaboration, innovation, state of good repair, and mobility and community connectivity. Within these areas, the department considered how projects will improve accessibility for all travelers, bolster supply chain efficiency, and support racial equity and economic growth — especially in historically disadvantaged communities and areas of persistent poverty.

In Kansas, the following projects will benefit from RAISE awards:

Old Smoky Hill River Bridge Replacement
The City of Salina will receive $22.1 million to replace seven bridges over the Old Smoky Hill River, construct approximately 3.4 miles of multi-use accessible trails, improve seven pedestrian crossings, improve three railroad-pedestrian crossings, and install trail lighting. In addition, the project will construct a new, multi-modal hub, three pedestrian bridges, two new electric vehicle charging stations, a pedestrian underpass, a pedestrian boardwalk, and five new recreational boat launches. The new bridges will improve mobility, reduce congestion, and reconnect the City of Salinas’ underserved neighborhoods to recreational features. The project also upgrades river channel culverts that are currently prone to flooding.
Flint Hills Trail: Connecting Communities, Cultures, and Landscapes
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks will receive $24.8 million to construct approximately 40 miles of the Flint Hills Trail in Kansas, nearly completing this 118-mile linear park "rail-trail." The project includes drainage improvements, pipes, culverts, bridges, base improvements, limestone surfacing, fences, gates, bollards, safety improvements, and signage. The trail will offer an alternative to driving as well as provide outdoor recreation opportunities in a rural area that is currently fragmented with very few public outdoor recreational areas. There is also opportunity for the project to boost recreation and nature tourism, as evidenced by establishment of 10 new businesses related to the trail in the past three years. Planning efforts have considered inputs from the communities being served through four workshops, and the trail will use inclusive interpretative signage and storytelling strategies that portray history and respect the Kaw Nation.
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Buttigieg and other senior USDOT officials recently fanned out across the country to visit additional sites that are receiving RAISE awards to highlight the ways that the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping invest in communities and get important infrastructure projects moving in communities large and small.

Additional Background
  • 2022 RAISE grants are for planning and capital investments that support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, or intermodal transportation.
  • 50 percent of funding is designated for projects in rural areas, and 50 percent of the funding is designated for projects in urban areas.
  • Nearly two-thirds of projects are located in areas of persistent poverty or historically disadvantaged communities.
  • The largest grant award is $25 million. Per statute, no more than $341.25 million could be awarded to a single state in this round of funding.
  • Among this year’s selected projects, 11 included a local hire provision.
  • Several projects include workforce development aspects including four projects that have project labor agreements, eight projects that have registered apprenticeship programs and an additional eight projects with other workforce development provisions.

The RAISE program is one of several ways communities can secure funding for projects under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s competitive grant programs. Later this year, the Biden-Harris Administration will announce recipients of the first-ever National Infrastructure Project Assistance program, as well as the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program and the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program.

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