News Releases

Thanksgiving holiday traffic counts available

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving 2013 was the biggest travel day in history for the Kansas Turnpike. On that day, 132,667 vehicles* traveled on the 236-mile toll roadway, which broke last year’s record by more than 300 vehicles.

Total traffic for the Tuesday through Sunday holiday period was 665,945 vehicles*. This marked a 3.26 percent increase over last’s Thanksgiving holiday.

* These numbers represent unaudited traffic counts. Audited traffic numbers will be available later this month and may be slightly different.

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December 9, 2013 Media Release

‘Cops & Donuts’ takes on Different Meaning at Hardee’s & Dunkin’ Donuts Grand Opening

The old stereotype of ‘cops and donuts’ took on a different meaning as Kansas Highway Patrol Troopers assigned to the Turnpike helped with the Grand Opening celebration of Dunkin’ Donuts and Hardee’s, which recently opened at the Towanda Service Area between Wichita and El Dorado on the Kansas Turnpike. The celebration took place Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at 1 p.m.

WHAT:    Hardee’s and Dunkin’ Donuts Grand Opening

WHEN:    Thursday, October 24, 2013 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Towanda Service Area on the Kansas Turnpike

WHO:      Mike King, Kansas Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Kansas Turnpike Authority, along with officials from Rising Star, the franchise group for both Hardee’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, Kansas Turnpike Authority board members and staff and other state and local officials.

• A short program and ribbon cutting will officially mark the opening of the two new restaurants. 

• Thursday will also be ‘customer appreciation day’ with Rising Star and GasMart USA showing their appreciation of the traveling public’s patience during the remodel by offering special promotions.

• Following the program, Secretary King will step behind the counter to assist Turnpike travelers with their food orders.

• Kansas Highway Patrol Troopers assigned to the Turnpike will be on-hand to encourage travelers to take a break for safety during the busy upcoming holiday travel season.

• Interview opportunities with Secretary King.

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October 22, 2013 Media Release

Sec King to speak at KMCA convention

Kansas’ Transportation Secretary Mike King will address attendees at the Kansas Motor Carriers Association annual convention in Wichita this Thursday.
Secretary King will talk about the future of transportation and trucking in Kansas. The lunch will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 26 in the Riverview Ballroom at The Hyatt Regency, 400 West Waterman, Wichita.
The Kansas Motor Carriers Association is the statewide membership organization serving the interests of the trucking industry and its allied members.
The Kansas Turnpike Authority is a 236-mile roadway connecting the three largest metropolitan areas in Kansas. The roadway’s construction, maintenance and operations are funded by user-fees, which are collected by manual toll collection personnel or by the K-TAG electronic toll collection program.

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September 23, 2013 Media Release

State Farm® Safety Assist Program Helps 1,539 Kansas Turnpike Travelers in 2013

The State Farm Safety Assist program, operated in partnership with the Kansas Turnpike, assisted 1,539 Turnpike travelers this past summer. 

Under the program, State Farm Safety Assist drivers travel the Kansas Turnpike aiding drivers of broken-down vehicles, looking for debris on the road and helping with traffic accidents or other incidents. These drivers logged 81,447 miles as they patrolled the roadway between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“The State Farm Safety Assist driver was an angel when our car broke down. He saved the day and turned a bad situation into a much better one. This is a fantastic program!” said Sam W., a traveler who received assistance.

The program utilizes a fleet of dedicated vehicles operated solely by Kansas Turnpike personnel. Two vehicles patrolled the heavily traveled Kansas City to Topeka corridor and one unit patrolled the section from Wichita to the Oklahoma border, the Turnpike’s second-busiest stretch.

“Our partnership with State Farm allows us to assist travelers when they are in need and to help keep the Turnpike safe for all motorists,” said Mike King, Kansas Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Kansas Turnpike. “Thanks in part to State Farm, we are able to provide our customers a safe and high-quality service.”

In its fourth year, the program is a natural fit for State Farm. State Farm insures about 1 in 5 cars in Kansas and is a leading advocate for safer roads. State Farm has a long history of supporting auto safety initiatives through partnerships that supply financial and operational resources to organizations such as the Kansas Turnpike.

To view an informational video about the State Farm Safety Assist program on the Kansas Turnpike, visit

About State Farm®:
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit or in Canada

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September 20, 2013 Media Release

Hardee’s & Dunkin’ Donuts opens at Matfield Green Service Area

Hardee’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are open for business at the Matfield Green Service Area giving those traveling the Kansas Turnpike new food choices and a new place to stop for a break.
Mike King, Kansas Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Kansas Turnpike, welcomed restaurant leadership earlier this week.
“Turnpike travelers win with more food options,” said Secretary King, “and so does Kansas as another new business opens its doors in our state.”
Besides welcoming the restaurants, Secretary King took his turn behind the counter helping to serve customers. “It’s fun seeing our customers and interacting with the employees of these two restaurants,” said Secretary King, “but I think I’ll keep my day job!”
Rising Star, the franchise group for both Hardee’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, was the winning bidder earlier this year replacing McDonalds. The group began renovating the space in May to accommodate both restaurants and opened late July.  KTA appreciates the increased service that GasMart USA, the fuel provider and convenience store operator at the Matfield Green Service Area, provided to travelers during the construction.
“Kansas travelers are really welcoming us. The Matfield Green Hardee’s had record-breaking sales on its opening day,” said Tony Parrish, Hardee’s/Dunkin’ Donuts vice president of operations. “We hope to have the same exciting response when we open these two brands at the Towanda Service Area later this fall.”
Photos of Secretary King’s visit at the Matfield Green Service Area can be found here:
Video of Secretary King’s meeting with business partners can be found here:

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August 27, 2013 Media Release

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KTA Fact

The original 1954 bond issue has been paid off and new bonds have been issued for financing safety improvements, major reconstruction projects and upgrading.