Johnson County allocates 2023 funding for collaborative road and stormwater projects

Road construction using large machinery

Today, Thursday Sept. 22, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners authorized more than $34.3 million in infrastructure funding for two longstanding Johnson County programs to improve local roadways and stormwater systems in 2023.

By separate unanimous votes, the board approved the County Assistance Road System (CARS) Program and the Stormwater Management Program (SMP) for the upcoming year. Both programs are managed by the Urban Services Division of the Johnson County Public Works Department.

For almost four decades, Johnson County Government has invested more than $700 million in road infrastructure with CARS and enhanced flood control efforts with SMP. These are community investments and strong win-win examples of joint funding through county and city collaboration,” said Board Chairman Ed Eilert.

“We appreciate the committees for both programs, made up of county and city representatives who together evaluate proposed projects and make recommendations to our board for approval.”

2023 CARS Road Construction Program

Public Works CARS Program Stats 2023

Since 1983, the CARS program has annually provided funding to improve arterial roads and city streets throughout Johnson County. CARS has allocated slightly more than $17.2 million in 2023 for 21 projects in 13 cities.

A majority of the 2023 projects consist of maintenance of existing roadways, including 16 major maintenance projects, representing 51% of the budgeted funds. Four capacity projects account for 46% of the CARS funding and one system management project represent 3% of the budget.

Funding for the various projects ranged from $77,000 to Roeland Park to improve 48th Street from Roe Boulevard to Roe Lane to $4,350,000 to Olathe for improvements to 119th Street from Woodland Road to Northgate Street.

Five other projects have funding of more than $1 million, including:

  • $1,649,000 for Foxridge Drive from 51st Street to Lamar Avenue in Mission.
  • $1,401,000 for Nieman Road from Shawnee Mission Park to the south city limits of Shawnee/Lenexa. Most of the project is in Shawnee. Lenexa is receiving $150,000 for its share of the road improvements.
  • $1,347,000 for Merriam Drive from Johnson Drive to 55th Street to Switzer Road in Merriam.
  • $1,177,000 for 199th Street from Ridgeview to Renner roads in Spring Hill.
  • $1,451,000 for 167th St from Switzer Road to Antioch Road in Overland Park.

Seven CARS projects are in Overland Park, two in Lenexa and one each in De Soto, Gardner, Merriam, Olathe, Roeland Park and Spring Hill. Three projects with shared roadways in six cities were also funded.

The CARS program was established to construct, maintain and improve local major transportation corridors in partnership with cities which annually submit a five-year road improvement plan to Johnson County Government. Each city will receive funding for its top-priority qualifying project. Additional projects are funded based on a funding rule and/or scoring system.

CARS can fund up to 50 percent of the project’s construction and construction inspection costs. Cities are responsible for ancillary costs such as design, right-of-way and utility relocation.

2023 Stormwater Management Program

Public Works Stormwater Program Stats 2023

The Stormwater Management Program for next year totals slightly more than $17.1 million. It includes $8.15 million, representing 48% of the funding, for watershed improvements, including $4.5 million for five flood risk reduction projects in the cities of Olathe (two projects), Merriam, Prairie Village and Overland Park.

SMP has also allocated $1.5 million for voluntary home buyout funding to acquire and remove structures in high flood risk and erosion areas. Another $1.5 million is earmarked for water quality improvement and preservation efforts.

Almost $4 million, or 26% of funding, has been set aside for replacement projects to replace failing stormwater conveyance systems.

The plan also provides slightly more than $3.6 million, or 21% of funding, for stormwater studies, maintenance of the county’s stream and rain gauge network, maintenance of the countywide flood-warning system, support to the cities for compliance with state/federal water quality regulations, and funding of studies identified by cities and other stormwater activities and projects.

The SMP annually provides funding for stormwater improvements and capital projects in Johnson County in partnership with the cities. The program also cooperates with other cities in the Kansas City region as part of the regional stormwater system.

The SMP is funded by a 1/10-cent sales tax authorized by the Kansas Legislature in 1988 and approved by the Board of County Commissioners for the purpose of funding stormwater projects. Johnson County was the only county to implement the tax. The funds, dedicated to stormwater management, allow the county to create an annual SMP and provide 50 percent of funding for eligible design and construction projects in the county and cities in Johnson County.

The Board of County Commissioners created the SMP and the Stormwater Management Advisory Council in the early 1990s. The council helps coordinate stormwater efforts and advises the board on stormwater management-related issues.

Details of the 2023 CARS and SMP plans are accessible online at this link. You can also learn more about our CARS program and our Stormwater Management Program on our website.

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