An important two-lane freight corridor, U.S. 83 serves about 5,000 commercial trucks every day and is a favored route for agricultural supplies.
Around US 83 is where over 40% of the state’s agricultural exports are generated. Kansas, which ranks sixth in the nation for its agricultural sector after Illinois, derived $21 billion in revenue directly from agricultural operations. (California is the highest state, at $51 billion, followed by Texas, Iowa, and Nebraska.)
According to Steve Hale, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Transportation, traffic averages 2,500 to 5,000 vehicles each day in the corridor’s middle to over 10,000 per day at both ends where agricultural product wholesalers and producers are most saturated.
U.S. Route 83 in Kansas is a landlocked anchor point for worldwide supply chain products headed for 89 different nations, including its biggest markets in Canada, Mexico, China, South Korea, and Japan. It is also a supply line for oil and gas.
Fiber Optic Network Project Aimed to Improve Truck Safety
Truckers traversing the United States via Kansas’ Route 83 freight corridor will benefit from a $6.67 million government award to help finance a broad fiber optic network to transmit real-time traffic, weather, and other important information in that outlying agricultural region.
The Kansas Department of Transportation intends to use technology (including cameras and sensors) to bring real-time information to drivers about weather conditions and traffic accidents. Truckers will be able to access information through hands-free devices. Additionally, this information will be available on KDOT’s KanDrive.org website for viewing and use by truck dispatch centers in passing along conditions to drivers. The system will also improve communications for emergency responders.
The $14.6 million Great Plains Rural Freight Technology Corridor project will benefit from the grant from the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment program.
The new technology will increase safety along U.S. 83, which is situated on high plains and vulnerable to storms, strong winds, and blowing dust. Up to one-third of all traffic there is made up of trucks and farm machinery. Traffic, bad weather, and accidents can result in severe travel delays in rural locations like the US 83 corridor because it is impossible to identify an alternate route without a good amount of warning.
“By effectively regulating corridor truck movements, the project will result in safer, more effective commercial truck traffic on U.S. 83. According to KDOT, it will reduce the burden on commercial drivers who must combine real-world traffic situations with the needs of on-time manufacturing and pick-up/drop-off scheduling. It will also improve routing decisions made as a result of weather or corridor traffic accidents.
According to Hale, AT&T is the only provider of fiber optic service along U.S. 83 and is actually not being used at present by anyone along the route. Internal planning for the project has begun at KDOT, and a consultant will be hired. Once a deadline for the project has been agreed upon, according to Hale, planning, designing, and building will be finished in two years.
State representatives from Kansas gathered on September 7 at McCarty Family Farms, a dairy farm with 17,000 registered Holstein cows, close to Route 83 to celebrate winning the Federal Highway Administration grant issued on August 6.
Mike Beam, the state’s secretary of agriculture, joined Ken McCarty, the co-owner of the dairy company McCarty Family Farms, and Julie Lorenz, the secretary of transportation for Kansas. Every day, hundreds of trucks are arriving and leaving McCarty’s dairy facility and mixing in with other haulers plying this major freight circuit.
Using the state’s right of way to more cheaply deliver broadband to rural areas is logical, according to Lorenz. This will enhance access to broadband and provide Kansans with additional possibilities to use technology in their homes and workplaces.
Lorenz stated that this is a wonderful project that promotes smoother freight movement, safety, and could more affordably provide broadband to remote communities.
Contact a Kansas City Truck Accident Attorney
Injuries from truck accidents can be exceedingly hard to deal with. Since they will take every effort to avoid being found liable for injuries and losses, insurance firms won’t be too willing to help.
We can help you get the full compensation to which you are entitled. Call the Flick Law Firm at (816) 221-0501 to find out how our knowledge and experience of truck accident cases can help you.