Brownback signs law merging transportation units

Kansas Turnpike (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill that creates a partial merger of the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The Republican governor said Friday the move reduces duplication of resources and will improve efficiencies in the two agencies.

Critics feared the proposal was an attempt to move toll money from the turnpike to the highway department.

Money has often been taken from the highway department in the past to fund other state operations. Lawmakers changed the legislation to restrict the use of toll money to turnpike roads and bridges.

Transportation Secretary Mike King will become director of turnpike operations. He says the move will lead to consolidation of land and buildings, and to sharing of technology and engineering services.

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