Cherokee County will receive $760,000 in federal stimulus funding to resurface County Road 1791 (the former Highway 96 between Crestline and Carl Junction) County Commissioners were told during the morning session Monday.

“This is wonderful news,” said Commissioner Chairman Pat Collins. “It would have taken our entire road budget for five years to do that road.”

The former US Highway 96 was turned over to Cherokee County by the State of Kansas several years ago, but keeping the highly used highway in drivable condition has been a concern of the commissioners for several years.

“I think we were lucky with $4 million in the region and we get $760,000 it was a great thing,” said Commissioner Jack Garner. “This was a group effort, our road deparment, Leonard Vanetta, KDOT representative George Docking, Doug Gatewood and our other representatives.

“It’s great that we are a recognized project,” said Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand.

The Cherokee County project is one of seventy-seven projects totaling $34.7 million selected to receive federal stimulus funding for road and bridge improvements throughout Kansas.

The state received $348 million for highway and bridge projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, with $38 million directed to the Kansas City and Wichita metro areas by federal formula. The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) then sought applications from local units of government to share more than $34 million for city and county projects.

   “With many worthy projects submitted for consideration, the final selection was very difficult,” said KDOT Deputy Secretary Jerry Younger. “But I am confident that the projects selected will enhance local transportation networks and give a boost to the economies in each of the project locations.”

The number of requests for local funding far exceeded the available funds. KDOT received 422 requests for projects totaling $275 million.

Engineers from each of KDOT’s six districts evaluated and selected the local projects following specified criteria, such as job creation, whether the project was in an economically distressed area and whether it could be completed within three years. Each district used its own weighting of the criteria to reflect the needs of the regional highway system. Many of the projects will include a local funding component, which allowed the $34.7 million to be stretched even further.

The selected ARRA projects and funding awarded in the KDOT Southeast Kansas District, which includes 17 counties: Fort Scott, resurfacing a section of SW National Street, $228,180; Anderson County, bridge rehabilitation, $70,000; Caney, resurfacing a portion of 4th Avenue, $177,500; Parsons, reconstruction on a section of US-59, $409,000; Yates Center, resurfacing a section of US-75, $345,778; Franklin County, resurfacing a section of John Brown Road, $504,000; Chautauqua County, resurfacing a section of a county road east of Sedan, $534,607; Pittsburg, resurfacing a section of Broadway, $265,500;; Longton, resurfacing on Kansas Street, $159,000; Osawatomie, resurfacing on 8th Street, $118,381; Neosho County, reconstruction on Shaw Road, $500,000; Greenwood County, resurfacing on County Road 291, $490,000.

Projects in the Kansas City and Wichita areas already have been or will be selected by their metropolitan planning organizations.

The following is the funding breakdown by district:

·Northeast – 19 projects, $11.3 million

·North central – 12 projects, $4.3 million

·Northwest – six projects, $2.4 million

·Southeast – 13 projects, $4.5 million

·South central – 18 projects, $8.5 million

·Southwest – nine projects, $3.6 million.