TOPEKA - Two major Kansas Department of Transportation projects that were completed in Overland Park and Lawrence last year were announced today as regional winners in the 2017 America’s Transportation Awards competition.

KDOT’s Johnson County Gateway Phase 2 project, the first and largest design-build transportation project completed in Kansas, tied for first in the “Operations Excellence, large project” category. The K-10 South Lawrence Trafficway East Leg was selected the regional winner in the “Operations Excellence, medium project” category. Both projects will now be considered for inclusion as national finalists to compete for the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award.

“These well-deserved awards are a testament to the excellence of Kansas highways,” said Gov. Sam Brownback. “Our state highway system is one of the best in the nation, and Kansas will continue to see the benefits from these projects for years to come as they serve commuters and facilitate commerce in vital economic corridors for the state.”

Transportation Secretary Richard Carlson said, “I am proud of the hard work and dedication demonstrated by KDOT professionals to help make these projects successful. From the beginning of the planning process to a project’s completion, our staff is committed to pursuing excellence every step of the way, and the Johnson County Gateway and South Lawrence Trafficway were no exceptions. These projects are great examples of KDOT’s commitment to providing a highway system that meets the needs of Kansans.”

The Johnson County Gateway project included reconstruction and capacity improvements within the I-435, I-35 and K-10 interchange area along with improvements at several major local interchanges. Within the project area, there were 56 new lane miles added as well as 22 new and five rehabilitated bridges, including three new two-lane flyover bridge ramps and widened bridges on I-435 and I-35.

The South Lawrence Trafficway East Leg included construction of a new four-lane, six-mile freeway around the east side of Lawrence, connecting the existing K-10 with the new highway. Construction work included 24 bridges, 29.4 highway lane miles, 16.3 miles of local roads and three new interchanges.

The America’s Transportation Awards competition is celebrating its 10th year and is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.