The state of Kansas is investing in a $14.6 million project that will install fiber-optic cable and other high-tech technologies from northern Thomas County to the southern part of Finney County.
This 100-mile area on U.S. 83 will receive a state-of-the-art communication system that offers real-time traffic updates, weather alerts, and other key information to commercial trucks.
All of this information is designed to optimize freight routing throughout a critical transportation route in western Kansas. U.S. 83 is one of the most important freight routes in Kansas for agriculture products, with more than 5,000 commercial trucks using this highway each day.
The Federal Highway Administration gave the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) a $6.7 million grant, as this was one of only ten projects chosen across the nation. KDOT is also sending out $7.9 million for the project that will include cameras and sensors to give drivers real-time data on traffic delays or weather conditions.
Commercial truckers can access this information through hands-free devices, and this data will also be available on the KanDrive website. This innovative system will also upgrade communication systems for emergency responders in the area.
Installing fiber optic cables for this project will also make it much easier for internet providers to install their cables to provide high-speed internet to rural parts of Kansas. Providing access to broadband internet will give rural residents more opportunities to work from home
This project also makes it much easier for commercial truck drivers to stay in communication while on the highway. The Great Plans Rural Freight Technology Project is a win-win situation for both commercial truck drivers and residents that live along U.S. 83 in western Kansas.
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