WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – On Tuesday, the Wichita City Council approved a federal grant application through the RAISE grant program. It would bring in $2.4 million in federal funding and $600,000 would be paid by the city of Wichita.
If the grant is approved, the money would go to upgrade West Kellogg and the 40-year-old Eisenhower Parkway interchange.
“It’s one of the intersections with the highest accident rate in the city, and the infrastructure is deteriorating,” said Gary Janzen, City of Wichita engineer.
If you are driving along Kellogg and Ridge Road, you can see that the roads need repair.
“The guard rails are fogged up, it’s pretty beat up, there’s a lot of water stained there,” said Jeff Blubaugh, Wichita City Councilman.
Blubaugh said there are also safety concerns for drivers.
“A lot of times there’s somebody trying to get one stop light running, and somebody stopping at another causes a lot of rear ends, causes a lot of t-bones. There’s a lot of problems over there,” Blubaugh said.
Janzen said he’s tried to optimize traffic signs, but it hasn’t improved the problem.
Council won’t hear from potential funds until June, but city leaders hope it will be approved to make updates to roads, but also sidewalks, bike paths and water systems.
“Our goal is to use this money if we can get it to make our city safer and also make that area more attractive,” said Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple.
Another piece of the project would be the addition of public transport.
Currently, Wichita does not have public transportation in and out of the airport.
But the City hopes this grant will bring a transit hub to the airport, but that project could take years.