Some of the email we receive makes us go, Huh? Such is one we received from the Kansas Department of Transportation, which – last we heard – can’t afford to repair roads or bridges, let alone fill potholes.
Nothing against the road workers, we admire them for standing out in the heat and cold doing their jobs.
No, our questions revolve around the administrators. KDOT wants to install electric vehicle charging stations in 12 locations along the I- 70 and I-35 corridors. They say they will get a $2 million grant.
No total cost estimate for the project is provided, but the press release says they want to receive input from “industry stakeholders” and “potential applicants.” If you see “stakeholders” in government communication, rest assured that means money is involved. Usually yours.
“Potential applicant” in this instance means someone who wants to bid on the contract.
If KDOT’s resources are really limited, and half of the state is shut down due to a pandemic, is this really the right time to start a new project, that may or may not be needed? Who is going to pay for the ongoing upkeep of these new charging stations?
KDOT can’t maintain the infrastructure they have now.
We’re all about alternative energy and cutting the fossil fuel cord, but let’s be honest here – need for these charging stations is unknown, no data is provided.
And if KDOT has the money to subsidize electric charging stations, why not do the same for gas pumps?
Or, why not let the private sector/businesses fill the niche?
Rather than expanding overhead at a time when KDOT cries broke, concentrate on what is needed now: fill potholes, repair/replace roads, build bridges and shore up the infrastructure.
To provide input go to:
Responses to this RFI must be emailed to [email protected] by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24.
More information related to this RFI can be found at: https://sos.ks.gov/publications/Register/Volume-40/Issue-36-September-9-2021.html.