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Tuesday, 11 June 2013 22:08

KDOT awards Lawrence three grants to enhance transportation

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Historic sites in the city of Lawrence are getting a make-over, thanks to a program under the Kansas Department of Transportation. Transportation Enhancement is a federally-funded program that provides funding for facilities, pedestrians, and bicycles.

Nearly $18 million was granted to projects around the state, including three Lawrence landmarks.

The historic Breezedale monuments at the intersection of 23rd and Massachusetts Streets have become an icon for the city and a gateway to downtown. But with more than 40,000 cars using the intersection each day, the monuments could use some TLC. KDOT approved funds based on the total project cost estimate of $55,000 to restore the monuments.

The city was also awarded nearly $219,000 to pave the existing Haskell Rail Trial from 23rd Street to 29th Street. The trail was the first operational rail trail in the state. The project would improve the surface and connect to Burroughs Creek trail.

But the project that really hit the jackpot is the preservation of the Santa Fe station, which is a project estimated to cost more than $1.2 million. The station still resembles its mid-1950's look, but had its ware and tear with servicing nearly eight passenger trains a day before highways took over.

The federal portion of the funding will be 80 percent of the actual total, so the city will be responsible for the remaining costs. However, the funds must be used by September, 2014.