Meet KTA

The Team

The Kansas Turnpike Authority employs nearly 500 people who are charged with maintaining the 236-mile roadway and improving its function as a vital corridor to move people and goods in Kansas. These employees are led by KDOT Secretary of Transportation Mike King and a 10-member leadership team.

Alan D. Bakaitis

Alan Bakaitis is Turnpike's Chief Operations Officer. He joined the KTA in 1998 as the Toll Operations Director and in that capacity works with a staff of district toll supervisors and more than 200 toll collectors who serve KTA customers from 22 different locations. In July 2013, he was promoted to Chief Operations Officer and — working with other executive staff members — is responsible for all KTA routine operations.

Eric J. Becker

Eric J. BeckerEric Becker began working for the Turnpike in 1998. His current position as Maintenance Director began in late 2005. His staff maintains the roadway and works closely with the Engineering Department to ensure the integrity of the pavement and structures that are the Kansas Turnpike.

Carl Compton

Carl ComptonCarl Compton has been a Certified Public Accountant for more than 15 years. He has been with the Turnpike for more than 20 years and played a vital role in the research and development of the Turnpike’s K-TAG program. His staff takes care of the daily financial operations associated with a business. Carl is dedicated to ensuring the Turnpike’s strong financial positioning and maintaining the Turnpike’s fiscal responsibility.

Marty Wiltse

Marty WiltseMarty Wiltse establishes the company’s technical vision and provides project management and contract negotiations.  He leads the staff in the execution of technical strategy for all aspects of the Authority's technology related initiatives. Marty has worked for the Kansas Turnpike Authority since 1978.

David E. Jacobson

David E. JacobsonDavid Jacobson is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Kansas. He has been the Turnpike’s Chief Engineer since December 2005, but has served the KTA since 1994. He works with a staff of assistants, field personnel, and four other professional engineers to ensure the roadway is safe and the future needs of the roadway are addressed in a timely and logical manner.

Capt. Joe Bott

Captain Joe BottCapt. Joe Bott is a veteran to law enforcement. He is the Commander of the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Troop G which is assigned to the Turnpike. He also oversees the KTA’s dispatch center that is the hub of both patrol and maintenance communications on the Turnpike. He and his staff uphold both the mission of the Turnpike and that of the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Jennifer Szambecki

Jennifer Szambecki joined KTA as part of the formalized partnership between KTA and the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), enacted during the 2013 Kansas legislative session. Jennifer works with KTA, KDOT and other state agencies to ensure a consistent, positive brand experience for all travelers in Kansas, and to help position Kansas as the best state in which to start or grow a business.

Rachel Bell

Rachel Bell leads and manages KTA communications and marketing, including media relations, social media and the Turnpike’s strategic marketing plan. Since joining the Turnpike staff in 2000, Rachel has implemented communications systems to promote safety and ensure the driving public stays informed. She continues to save travelers time and money by growing the Turnpike’s K-TAG program, including overseeing K-TAG customer support and operations.

Alan Streit

Alan Streit is an AV Preeminent™ attorney with a Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University and a Juris Doctor from University of Kansas. He has litigated transportation and other cases throughout the Kansas District Court system and has argued several cases to the Kansas Court of Appeals and Kansas Supreme Court. Alan provides legal research, advice and representation to the KTA board and KTA executive staff.

Steve Hewitt

Steve Hewitt oversees the administrative functions of the KTA including the areas of finance and human resources. He comes to the Kansas Turnpike more than eight years of executive level public administrative experience including City Administrator of Greensburg, Kansas during the town's disaster recovery efforts. Most recently he served as the City Manager of Clinton, Oklahoma.

Darlene Morgan

Darlene Morgan has been with the Kansas Turnpike for 20 years and served in the finance and toll departments before being promoted to Executive Assistant. She provides scheduling and organizational assistance to the Secretary of Transportation/Director of Kansas Turnpike, the Chief Operations Officer and the Authority Board. Darlene also assists in the overall execution of company policy and the management of office duties.

Tara Mays

Tara Mays, Director of Government Affairs and Kansas Transportation Initiative Liaison has worked with KDOT since 2010 serving on the state policy development team.  Recently, Mays has taken on the implementation of the formalized partnership between KDOT and the Kansas Turnpike Authority.  She is a graduate of Washburn University with a B.A. in Political Science.



Kansas Turnpike Authority


236 miles from Kansas City, Kansas, to the Oklahoma border south of Wichita

Service Areas

Six: near Lawrence, Topeka, Emporia, Matfield Green, Towanda and Belle Plaine

Number of Interchanges

Started with 14 and currently have 22

Traffic (2012)

35,596,150 vehicles

Net Toll Revenue (2012)

$87.5 million

Legislation passed

April 7, 1953

Ground Breaking

December 31, 1954

Opened to Traffic

October 25, 1956

Avg Passenger Trip

38 miles

Avg Commercial Trip

63 miles