Keep up on the latest KTA news by reading our press releases below.
KTA budget approved: toll adjustment part of modernization efforts
Jul 18, 2018
WICHITA, Kan. – The Kansas Turnpike Authority Board recently approved the organization’s budget for the new fiscal year, July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019. The $145.5m expenditures budget focuses on safety enhancements and is built using projects listed in KTA’s 2015 Long Term Needs Study, current infrastructure needs, results from the recent customer satisfaction survey, KTA’s financial model and anticipated FY19 traffic.
“KTA receives no tax funding. With user fees supporting the roadway, it is especially important that customers be satisfied with our performance,” said Steve Hewitt, KTA’s CEO. “About 60% of travelers now use an electronic transponder like K-TAG to pay for tolls rather than using cash.”
Since January 2016, KTA has invested more than $101m in Long Term Needs Study projects to preserve, modernize and enhance the Turnpike system. Customers are pleased with the improvements. In a recent survey, 80% like the removal of K-TAG gates at toll plazas and 93% of those using the highway speed toll lanes are satisfied.
Continued modernization efforts are part of the organization’s FY 2019 plan. Projects include removal of gates in more K-TAG lanes, construction of highway speed toll lanes in East Topeka and near the Oklahoma border and increased compatibility with toll roads in other states. Preservation of the system continues to be a priority for KTA with a focus on bridge rehabilitation and reconstruction and other safety-related maintenance projects.
The organization must maintain a strong financial position to deliver the projects outlined in KTA’s 10-year program and provide the types of roadway services that customers expect.
“KTA continues to be fiscally strong,” said Kent Olson, KTA’s Director of Finance. “However, a modest toll adjustment is necessary to pay for preservation and modernization projects using cash on hand rather than issuing new debt. With this adjustment, KTA will increase the discount for its more efficient electronic toll collection program.”
Beginning October 1, adjustments will be made to KTA’s tolls in the following ways:
- Electronic passenger vehicles (2-4 axles using a K-TAG or compatible device) will see an approximate 5% increase and realize a savings of up to 25% off cash tolls.
- Electronic commercial vehicles (5+ axles using a K-TAG or compatible device) may see an adjustment due to rounding electronic fares to the nearest nickel and realize a savings of up to 18% off cash tolls.
- The less than 40% of cash customers will see an approximate 12.5% increase (passenger) and 10% increase (commercial). All cash fares will be adjusted to the nearest quarter, which could cause variances in the percentage increase.
“KTA’s toll rate per mile continues to be one of the lowest in the country,” said Hewitt. “We encourage travelers to maximize their savings by using an electronic transponder like K-TAG to pay for tolls.”
Businesses invited to be part of Kansas Winter Expo
Jul 11, 2018
TOPEKA, Kan.— The Kansas Turnpike Authority is seeking sponsors for its fourth annual Kansas Winter Expo. The expo will be Sept. 5-6 2018 at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka.
“We highly recommend businesses who work with roadway maintenance teams to be part of the Kansas Winter Expo,” said Eric Becker, KTA’s Roadway Operations Director. “This event gives sponsors the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with roadway maintenance personnel and operational decision-makers.”
The Kansas Winter Expo provides those involved in roadway safety and maintenance an opportunity to learn about the latest equipment and best practices in the field. Sponsors can showcase new equipment, demonstrate its operation and discuss solid safety practices, which can be used year-round.
All sponsorship options include complimentary registration and a display area, with upper tier sponsors also receiving additional benefits. The event also features a variety of classes on related topics, a truck roadeo, flagger certification and a career fair. Those interested in sponsoring the event can learn more and register at www.kansaswinterexpo.com
KTA awards bridge preservation project in June
Jul 6, 2018
WICHITA, Kan.— The Kansas Turnpike Authority announces a bid has been approved and a contract awarded on an upcoming Turnpike construction project.
Contract #7336 – Painting eight bridges, to protect and preserve their structural steel, located between mile markers 20 and 60 on I-35/KTA in Sedgwick and Sumner Counties was awarded to Linder Painting, Inc., Lincoln, NB for $307,903.00.
Construction is anticipated to begin this summer with details available soon on www.ksturnpike.com and impacts to traffic posted on www.kandrive.org. Construction updates on this and other projects are published monthly in KTA’s electronic newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter using the form located at the bottom of any page on www.ksturnpike.com.
Traffic changes near East Topeka toll plaza
Jul 2, 2018
TOPEKA, Kan. – The southbound K-4 ramp connecting to eastbound I-70 will temporarily close on July 9th to accommodate construction at the Kansas Turnpike Authority’s East Topeka toll plaza located at mile marker 183, I-70/KTA. The ramp is anticipated to re-open in early August, weather and schedule permitting.
Other changes for eastbound traffic approaching the East Topeka toll plaza include:
- Drivers with a K-TAG or compatible transponder will be able to use the left lane of the newly constructed highway speed lanes to enter the Turnpike. (Follow posted speed limit signs in the construction zone.)
- Those without a compatible transponder will use the right lane to reach the ticket booth for Turnpike entry. If a driver misses getting a ticket, they should not stop on entry, but continue on to their exit and stop at a toll booth to pay when exiting the Turnpike.
The construction project, anticipated to be complete in November, will convert the toll plaza to open road tolling allowing electronic customers (those with a K-TAG or compatible transponder) to move through the middle of the toll area at highway speeds. Travelers, who prefer to pay with cash, will be able to slow and pull to the right, well out of way of highway traffic. See how open road tolling works.
Drivers are urged to check for traffic impacts at http://www.kandrive.org, subscribe to KTA Alerts for roadway incident information at http://bit.ly/KHeX6g, follow the Kansas Turnpike on Twitter, and watch for information on KTA’s digital message boards. Construction updates on this and other projects are published monthly in KTA’s electronic newsletter. Use the newsletter signup button, located toward the bottom of the web page, to subscribe.
Popular State Farm® Safety Assist summer program begins again
Jun 1, 2018
WICHITA, Kan.— The helpful State Farm Safety Assist program has begun for the summer season. Memorial Day weekend marked the annual expansion which proceeds through Labor Day, and the Kansas Turnpike Authority, joined by State Farm, increase the effort to provide assistance to Turnpike travelers with roadside emergencies.
“State Farm looks forward to another year of being good neighbors with the KTA and helping any motorists in need during the heavy summer travel months”, said Ed Gold, Advertising Director at State Farm.
During the summer months, an additional vehicle patrols the heavily traveled northeast Turnpike corridor, and one vehicle patrols from Wichita to the Oklahoma border. The program already operates year-round in the heavily traveled Topeka to Kansas City route. The State Farm Safety Assist runs Monday through Friday 6-10 am and 3-7 pm and Sunday from 3-7 pm. If you need assistance on the Kansas Turnpike, call KTA’s Incident Management Center at *KTA (*582).
“Just last year, the program performed over 1,800 assistances. Welfare checks, tire changes and mechanical assistances were the most common thing our technicians helped travelers with,” said Jason Weber, KTA Roadway Operations Manager. “We hope our travelers don’t need any roadside assistance, but if they do, this service is one way that we are there for our customers. The best defense against a roadside emergency is making sure your vehicle is properly maintained. Also make sure you have an emergency kit, just in case.”
The State Farm Safety Assist vehicles are equipped with various equipment and tools prepared to help in any way they can. Assisting in tire changes, directing traffic, minor mechanical solutions, and transportation to safety are only a few of the services provided. All services offered are free to travelers.
The State Farm Safety Assist Program is not intended to replace or interfere with services provided by private businesses. Technicians will provide only immediate services needed to assist customers in getting off the side of the road and help maintain the flow of traffic.
To learn more about the State Farm Safety Assist program, visit http://bit.ly/2kFesRg