Counties receive funding through Kansas High Risk Rural Roads Program

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe

Two southwest Kansas counties are among 16 counties in Kansas to receive funding through the Kansas High Risk Rural Roads (HRRR) Program, according to Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz and Gov. Laura Kelly.

According to Lorenz, Hodgeman County will receive $62,000 to install pavement markings on all paved roads with Ness County receiving $286,000 to install guardrails and delineate roadside hazards on C Road from 20 Road north to K-96.

According to Kelly, $8.5 million was made available for the 16 counties through the HRRR, a state/local partnership initiative designed to improve safety on off-system rural roads.

“This $8.5 million will go a long way to improve critical local roadways, protect Kansans, and spur economic growth statewide,” said Kelly. “As our economy continues to recover from COVID-19, we must use every tool in our disposal to ensure a strong, resilient foundation for years to come. Congratulations to Hodgeman County and Ness County on submitting a successful application.”

KDOT was able to distribute twice the funds typically available for HRRR annually when Coronavirus Relief Funds and Highway Infrastructure Program funds became available earlier this year.

HRRR project funding ranged from $62,000 to $1.4 million with KDOT receiving more than 30 applications for the 2021 HRRR safety-related funding for off-system rural roadways.

Applications ran from November 2020 to the end of February 2021.

“When additional federal coronavirus relief funds became available, KDOT recognized the need to move quickly to expand the HRRR program to as many counties as possible,” said Lorenz. “Even with the additional money, we are only able to fund half the applications received, which shows the high demand for rural safety projects.”

Hodgeman County Commissioner Mick MacNair said Hodgeman County is “elated” to have secured $62,000 through the HRRR program.

“We are very grateful for anything the state can to do to help us enhance the safety of our local constituents,” said MacNair. “By partnering with us, KDOT is helping provide needed safety enhancements that are much needed in rural Hodgeman County.”

MacNair said the funds will be used to install pavement markings on county-owned paved roads.

For Ness County, commissioner Mark Davis said its $286,000 will be used to enhance the safety of local roads.

“It would not have been feasible for Ness County to commit the necessary funds to complete this project without the assistance of KDOT,” said Davis. “Our partnership with KDOT allows us to provide safety enhancements vital to our infrastructure.”

To contact the writer email vmarshall@gannett.com