The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce commends state leaders for the creation of the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program. Governor Kelly today announced the signing of Senate Bill 173, passed by the Kansas Legislature last month, which creates the new 10-year, $10 billion comprehensive transportation plan.
“A strong transportation infrastructure is critical to developing and expanding commerce in South Central Kansas and across the state. The Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program will create jobs and support businesses, which is welcome news particularly during this challenging time,” said Gary Plummer, President and CEO of the Wichita Chamber. “The Wichita Chamber commends Governor Laura Kelly, Secretary Julie Lorenz and her professional staff at Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), House and Senate leadership, and key legislators from South Central Kansas including Sen. Carolyn McGinn and Sen. Mike Petersen, for their hard work in creating this program.”
The Wichita Chamber, in conjunction with the Regional Economic Area Partnership and the Greater Wichita Partnership, has convened key private sector business members of the Chamber and local governments in the region to form the South Central Kansas Transportation Coalition. The Coalition champions transportation projects that have a positive impact on communities and businesses in our region, like the North Junction interchange—where I-135, I-235, K-254 and K-96 meet in North Wichita.
“The South Central Kansas Transportation Coalition would like to thank the Kansas Legislature, Gov. Kelly, and Sec. Lorenz and her staff at KDOT on the creation of the well-thought-out Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program,” stated Coalition Chairman Brett Letkowski, Principal and Senior Vice President at TranSystems. “Our Coalition has united to support regionally significant transportation priorities and we believe the flexibility built into the new transportation program will drive critical investment to boost economic growth in the Wichita region and across the state.”
The Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program provides for a two-year, rolling project selection process and prioritizes preservation funding to effectively maintain the state’s highway system. It does not require a tax increase, but does rely on the state not sweeping sales tax dollars dedicated to the highway fund.
“The Wichita Chamber and South Central Kansas Transportation Coalition presented to the Joint Legislative Transportation Vision Task Force in 2018, provided input at several KDOT Local Consult meetings in 2019, and testified in favor of many transportation-related bills during the 2019 and 2020 Kansas Legislative Sessions,” said Andrew Wiens, Vice President of Government Relations at the Wichita Chamber. “I’m thrilled that the hard work of so many transportation leaders and stakeholders culminated this year in the passage of SB 173, the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program, and look forward to watching its positive impact on the economy.”