Ellis County receives funds to improve road key roadway
On Wednesday, Gov. Laura Kelly congratulated Ellis County and the City of Victoria for receiving $750,000 in Cost Share funds through the Kansas Department of Transportation. The funds will be used for the reconstruction of Cathedral Avenue, the main north-south connection from I-70 through the city of Victoria. The route is also the frontage to the St. Fidelis Basilica Catholic Church, better known as the “Cathedral of the Plains.”
“Congratulations to Ellis County and the City of Victoria on receiving $750,000 in the latest round of Cost Share funding,” Kelly said. “By working with our local partners to invest in our communities, our Cost Share program is improving road safety, mobility, and helping recruit new families and businesses to our state. This project is proof that when we work together to make smart, innovative investments in our foundation, all Kansans see results.”
A component of the Kelly Administration’s 10-year, bipartisan transportation plan, the Cost Share program is designed to help rural and urban areas advance transportation projects to improve safety, support job retention and growth, relieve congestion, and improve access and mobility. The Cathedral Avenue project was among 30 transportation construction projects selected for the Spring 2021 Cost Share recipients.
In addition to serving travelers visiting the Cathedral of the Plains, Ellis County Public Works Director Brendan Mackay said the route is also an important connector for the local farming community.
“This route is vital for local businesses, the community and farming community to get to and from the grain elevator,” Mackay said. “Ellis County and the City of Victoria have worked together for the last two years in designing and obtaining funding for the project. This is a much-needed project for the area and will go great with the investment the city has made to its waterline along the route.”
Demand is high for Cost Share transportation dollars. Michelle Needham, Economic Development Programs Manager for KDOT, said 117 communities requested more than $103 million in funding for this, the fourth round of the Cost Share program.
“KDOT was impressed with how this round of Cost Share projects hit markers for economic development, safety and community support,” said Needham. “Recognizing the need to support economic recovery, KDOT and our Cost Share partners are working collaboratively to expedite delivery on selected projects.”
KDOT is investing $21 million in this cycle of Cost Share with recipients contributing a combined total 50/50 match of $21 million, a total of $42 million in funding through state and local partnerships. The agency took advantage of 2020 federal coronavirus relief funds by doubling the available Cost Share funding for this round. Selection criteria was adjusted to consider hardships caused by the pandemic and points were added to communities that endured above-average economic loss.