CARS Program

Road sign depicting the cars road program

A program which focuses on constructing and maintaining the County’s major corridors

The County Board of Commissioners recognized that one of the keys to the success of Johnson County is in its major transportation corridors that connect the cities of Johnson County.

In 1983, the Board identified a need for a program which focuses on constructing and maintaining the County’s major corridors. In response to this need the Board created the County Assistance Road System (CARS) program.

About the Program

The program is guided by the Technical Review Committee (TRC) - a body of representatives from the county and the cities in Johnson County.

The CARS program is currently funded through a combination of Johnson County's share of the State of Kansas' Special City County Highway Fund (the "gas tax") and the county's general revenue. 2024 funding is currently estimated to be approximately $17.65 million.

The CARS program provides funds to the cities of Johnson County to construct and maintain their major arterials. Each year the cities submit a five-year road improvement plan to Johnson County.

Using a scoring system, Johnson County selects projects and allocates funds. The county pays 50% of the project’s construction and construction inspection costs. Cities are responsible for design, right-of-way, and utility relocation costs.

Emphasizing the issue of interconnectivity, only major arterial and some minor collector streets are eligible for the CARS program. For example, major arterial streets such as Metcalf, Antioch, 119th, and 75th Street are eligible; residential or local streets are not eligible for the program and are the responsibility of the cities.

Types of projects eligible for the CARS program are: Capacity Improvements (additional lanes), Major Maintenance (overlays, patching), System Management (intersection improvements, traffic signals, turn lanes), Bridges (replacement or rehabilitation), and Route Enhancements (sidewalks, bike paths, lights.)


Capacity Improvements
An improvement project which typically involves construction of additional through lanes to accommodate increasing traffic volumes. This category does not include geometric improvements or widening at intersections.

Major Maintenance
Refers to range of activities associated with existing facilities. Major maintenance activities include reconstruction of an existing roadway, milling, overlays of 2 inches or more in thickness, significant full depth patching, joint repair projects, and significant curb repair projects.

System Management
Refers to intersection capacity, geometry or function improvements; traffic signal installations, upgrades, or interconnect systems; and spot improvements to roadway segments to improve traffic flow.

Structures which span twenty feet or more as measured along the centerline of the roadway.

A bridge replacement project will be considered as a “stand alone” project if the bridge has a Sufficiency Rating (SR) of less than 50 and the bridge is structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

A bridge rehabilitation project is a major bridge maintenance project such as deck replacement or guardrail repair and upgrade. The bridge must have a Sufficiency Rating (SR) of less than 80 and the bridge must be classified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

Route Enhancement
Route Enhancements refer to construction of sidewalks, bicycle paths, or street lights along major or minor CARS collector routes.

Indemnification Clause

The Project Contractor shall defend, indemnify and save the Board of County Commissioners of Johnson County, Kansas and the City harmless from and against all liability for damages, costs, and expenses arising out of any claim, suit, action or otherwise for injuries and/or damages sustained to person or property by reason of the negligence or other actionable fault of the Project Contractor, his or her sub-contractors, agents or employees in the performance of this contract.

The Board of County Commissioners of Johnson County, Kansas shall be named as an additional insured on all policies of insurance issued to the Project Contractor and required by the terms of his/her agreement with the City.