Markers along the county roadways might soon become much clearer, thanks to some federal funding coming this way.

Atchison County is one of 16 Kansas counties to receive federal funding for road safety improvement projects for a total of $4.5 million as part of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s High Risk Rural Roads program. KDOT announced the awards Feb. 21.

Counties applied for the funding from November of 2018 until the end of January deadline. The projects were selected in early February. The program funding is administered through KDOT for systemic or site specific projects.

Superintendent Seth Howard, of the Atchison County Road and Bridge Department, said the HRRR funding will cover 100 percent of the costs associated with the project that he expects will be let sometime in 2021.

Atchison County was awarded $238,000 for the systemic purpose to upgrade signage along 30 miles of major collectors, internal county thoroughfares, in compliance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

“Major collectors area a focus for the state to getting signs upgraded, which initiated funding through HRRR,” Howard communicated in an email to Atchison Globe. “Good signing helps reduce risk and hazards on all roadways.”

The county was awarded funding in 2016 that could only cover 140 of the 170 miles of the major collectors countywide, Howard said. That construction was completed in 2018. In turn, Howard applied in this cycle of funding to complete the remaining 30 miles. After that is done it will mark completion of signage replacements along all major collector routes for Atchison County.

Work is ongoing each year to update old signs with county funds along all non-major collector routes.

The federal funding is for the 2021 fiscal year and will cover the costs associated with the preliminary engineering, construction and construction engineering.

Mary Meyers can be reached


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