Archive for Friday, July 29, 2005

Federal transportation bill has $2 million for Lansing

DeSoto Road improvements included in legislation

July 29, 2005

The federal transportation bill approved Friday by the U.S. House and Senate will bring $2 million to the city of Lansing for reconstruction of De Soto Road.

City officials are awaiting specifics from Washington, D.C., to determine exactly how the money is to be spent on DeSoto Road, but Public Works Director John Young said news of the appropriation was welcomed.

"Anything we can pump into the economy here and do improvements with less burden to our local taxpayers is wonderful," he said.

Young said he thought the funding would be used for improving the northern end of DeSoto, from Eisenhower Road to Ida Street. The road is expected to see a significant increase in traffic beginning late this year when work begins on the Main Street system enhancement project.

The funding for DeSoto Road was inserted into the transportation bill by U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, who called the $94 million earmarked for Kansas transportation projects "great news for Kansas."

"The highway bill is a critical investment in the way of life for every Kansan. : Not only does it improve roads and bridges, it adds to the transportation safety and the general economy of our state," Roberts said.

Roberts' office said Mayor Kenneth Bernard and Council member Bob Ulin were instrumental in pushing for funding for the DeSoto Road project.

"It's good news for your area," said Molly Mueller, press secretary to Roberts. "We're just happy we were able to get it in there for you."

The House and Senate both approved the legislation overwhelmingly Friday.

The bill now awaits President Bush's signature. His spokesman, Scott McClellan, indicated the president would sign the bill.

"This is a piece of legislation that will help us meet our transportation needs over the next six years, and it will also keep us on track, or ahead of schedule to cut the deficit in half," McClellan told the White House press corps on Thursday.

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