Keep up on the latest KTA news by reading our press releases below.
KTA encourages motorcycle safety for month
May 1, 2019
WICHITA, Kan.— May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the Kansas Turnpike Authority reminds drivers to “share the road” to help prevent motorcycle accidents. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash data, motorcycle fatalities occurred 28 times more frequently than any other vehicles.
Motorists are urged to help prevent motorcycle crashes by regularly checking blind spots and mirrors, using signals when changing lanes or turning, allowing motorcycles use of the full traffic lane and giving more distance when following a motorcycle.
“Each year, in addition to promoting motorcycle safety, we also participate in the annual Run for the Wall event at the Topeka service area,” said Rachel Bell, KTA Director of Business Services & Customer Relations. “This cross-country motorcycle ride recognizes the sacrifices and contributions made by veterans who have served our nation.”
Motorcyclists are also advised to take precautions. Riders should always wear a helmet, even if state law does not require it; cancel turn signals when complete if not automatically done; ride in the middle of the lane to increase visibility; wear protective clothing, such as riding jackets and boots; and follow all traffic laws, such as never drinking and driving.
KTA design contest brings work zone awareness to teens
Apr 12, 2019
WICHITA, Kan.— Madison Kunz from Blue Valley Northwest High School is the winner of the Kansas Turnpike Authority’s fourth annual design contest. This contest, held annually to celebrate National Work Zone Awareness Week, encourages teen drivers to be aware of safe driving behaviors through work zones. Kunz was selected out of a record-setting 187 submissions from schools around the state.
National Work Zone Awareness Week is a safety campaign held each spring highlighting the need for safe, attentive driving through work zones to prevent injuries and fatalities for workers and motorists.
“This record-setting number of entries tells us teens are paying attention to work zone safety messages,” said Rachel Bell, KTA’s Director of Business Services & Customer Relations. “This contest engages teens in safety campaigns during their formative driving years and enforces safe driving behaviors to last a lifetime.”
Contestants submitted a ¾ page advertisement focused on work zone safety. Kunz’s work will be published in VYPE Magazine and KTA’s monthly newsletter, Turnpike Times. View Kunz’s work, as well as the other finalists, at http://bit.ly/2WSDQBJ.
Contract Awarded on I-70/KTA Improvement Project
Mar 29, 2019
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Turnpike Authority announces a contract has been awarded for improvements on I-70/KTA between the Lecompton and Eastern Terminal toll plazas with construction scheduled to begin Monday, April 1, 2019, and be completed in late November, 2019, weather permitting.
The project, awarded to Bettis Asphalt & Construction, Inc., Topeka, KS, for $8,399,860.17, includes the following I-70/KTA improvements:
- Pavement resurfacing between mile markers 197.9 – 210.7, including the Lawrence Service Area at mile marker 209;
- Increasing the capacity of current reinforced concrete box culverts at mile marker 212.4 by adding additional culverts;
- Lengthening the reinforced concrete box culvert at mile marker 214.2;
- Lengthening the acceleration/deceleration ramps connected to the Lecompton and Tonganoxie/Eudora interchanges at mile markers 197 and 212, respectively.
Throughout the project, construction is scheduled to occur between 9 am and 3:30 pm with the exception of pavement resurfacing, which is planned for overnight hours. Speeds will be reduced to 65 mph within work zones. The first phase of construction will begin at mile marker 212 where drivers can expect intermittent lane and shoulder closures.
As construction progresses, traffic impacts will be posted on www.kandrive.org and made available on www.ksturnpike.com. 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.
KTA leader named Engineer of the Year
Mar 4, 2019
TOPEKA, Kan.— Kansas Turnpike Authority’s Director of Engineering, David Jacobson, was named Engineer of the Year by the Topeka Chapter of the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE) on February 28. This prestigious award recognizes a registered engineer’s outstanding contributions to their profession and community.
KTA’s Open Road Tolling conversion project at the East Topeka (I-70/KTA) toll plaza was also recognized as the Outstanding Engineering Achievement by KSPE Topeka Chapter.
“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award than David,” said Steve Hewitt, KTA’s Chief Executive Officer. “He stands at the helm of our decade-long modernization and preservation efforts, most notably our work to convert mainline plazas to open road tolling. His work and dedication are enormous assets to KTA and in transforming tolling in Kansas.”
At KTA, Jacobson leads a team of staff assistants, field personnel and other professional engineers. Within Kansas, Jacobson has held and continues to hold multiple leadership roles, including Board Secretary of the Engineering Foundation of Kansas. In the past eight years, he has presented at more than 15 times at the state, regional, national and international level.
Multiple projects to begin or resume March 11
Mar 4, 2019
WICHITA, Kan.— Construction season is set to begin on the Kansas Turnpike, with multiple projects starting or resuming Monday, March 11, weather permitting. These projects, including linked additional details, and their traffic impacts include:
- Bridge Re-Decking (South of Topeka): A two-year project to re-deck and increase the vertical clearance on two bridges crossing over I-335/KTA will resume. The SW 93rd Street bridge, crossing MM 168.297, will close to all traffic on Monday, March 11, and will reopen in late November, weather permitting. The SW 85th Street bridge was completed in 2018.
- Bridge Raising/Elevation (Sumner, Butler and Chase County): Construction to increase the vertical clearance on 10 bridges will begin at MM 21.146 I-35/KTA. Expect single lane traffic in both directions with 12-foot width restrictions.
- Bridge Construction (South Wichita): Rehabilitation of four mainline bridges will take place at MM 40.02 and 40.05 I-35/KTA. Traffic will experience median crossovers with single lane traffic using the southbound bridge, 12-foot width restrictions and 65 mph speed reduction from MM 39-41.
- Flint Hills Bridge Construction (Butler & Chase County): Work to deck mill and overlay a bridge will take place at MM 94 I-35/KTA. Travelers can expect single lane traffic from MM 93-95. Work to re-deck and widen a bridge at MM 99.96 I-35/KTA will result in single lane traffic from MM 98-102. Both areas will have 12-foot width restrictions and 65 mph speed reduction.
- Bridge Construction (Emporia): Work will resume on a two-year project on 10 I-335/KTA southbound bridges northwest of Emporia from MM 129-130. Traffic will use the northbound bridges with single lane traffic, 12-foot width restrictions and 65 mph speed reduction from MM 128-131.
Travelers can learn about all Turnpike projects planned for 2019. Additional information about each project can be found on KTA’s construction page, that also includes a monthly construction update by KTA’s Director of Engineering.
Drivers are urged to check for traffic impacts at www.KanDrive.org, subscribe to KTA Alerts for roadway incident information http://bit.ly/KHeX6g, follow the Kansas Turnpike on Twitter, and watch for information on KTA’s digital message signs. 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.