UG won’t receive TIGER II Grant funds
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., recently announced that plans for the Wizards Soccer Stadium, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway and a Cerner Corporation office complex are not affected by the federal government’s decision to not award a $65 million transportation grant.
The Unified Government applied for the funds, known as a TIGER II Grant, to help pay for road improvements along State Avenue, Interstate 435 and Village West Parkway. Long-range plans call for an innovative interchange design at State Avenue and I-435 and State Avenue and Village West Parkway to improve traffic flow and handle the increase in traffic generated by all the new development.
The plan also called for an inter-modal parking/transit facility for the 4,000 Cerner employees expected at the new office complex.
The TIGER II grants were highly competitive, with 1,000 applications submitted nationally. Only 42 construction projects were approved. Wyandotte County did receive $10.5 million in the first round of TIGER grants. That money is for State Avenue improvements to advance plans for a bus rapid transit system from downtown Kansas City, Mo., to Village West.
Had the federal funds been awarded, Cerner had agreed to put $16.5 million into the project. The Unified Government also would have contributed $6 million and the State of Kansas would have funded $3 million.
The Unified Government is now searching for other federal funding opportunities for the road improvements.