We’ve been working hard to prepare for the 2021 round of Local Consult. These regional stakeholder meetings rely on Kansans to provide timely input which helps us determine which IKE highway expansion and modernization projects will be added to the development pipeline.
We are committed to the Local Consult process – it’s the bedrock of the IKE program. In fact, I’m pleased that the legislation which created the IKE program requires us to hold Local Consult every two years to gather your input for these projects.
This year, Local Consult looks different. Out of an abundance of caution and to comply with current state guidance related to COVID-19, this year’s Local Consult meetings will be held virtually, with two online options to participate:
- A virtual live Zoom meeting will take place for each region plus the Wichita and Kansas City metro areas. Visit https://www.ksdotike.org/projects/local-consult-process for the schedule and to register. This option allows you to participate in live conversations about regional transportation priorities. The meetings will take place at the same dates and times as previously announced.
- A virtual on-demand experience allows you to review Local Consult information and provide input on your own schedule. Visit https://www.ksdotike.org/projects/local-consult-process for more information about the schedule for these meetings.
While I really wish we could have the rich regional, in-person discussions which Local Consult is known for – the key elements of the process remain the unchanged. We’ll provide an update on IKE progress, ask for your thoughts on well-known and emerging project needs, and review how projects are scored.
We need your feedback now. Unfortunately, we can’t reschedule.We needto keep the development pipeline stocked and prioritize work accordingly. With a potential federal infrastructure bill on the horizon, we want to make sure Kansas is well positioned to take advantage of possible funding opportunities to improve our infrastructure and address long-standing problems. Please note that while we’re going to virtual format for this round of Local Consult; we remain committed to in-person discussions and plan to resume them for 2023 Local Consult.
We’ve received nearly 2,000 survey responses, which demonstrates the importance of transportation to Kansans. I sincerely hope more people will be able to participate in Local Consult now that you don’t have to travel.
Be safe out there. As I’m sure you have seen, we have construction going on across Kansas. Thanks to KDOT employees and our contractor partners who have modified construction practices to accommodate COVID protocols, we’re not missing a beat on project delivery.
Julie L. Lorenz
Secretary of Transportation Director of Kansas Turnpike Authority