Wichita Mayor hopes for money to fix freeway tangle after White House meeting with Trump

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell left Washington after a meeting with President Trump on Monday hopeful of getting federal funding to fix a backup-prone freeway interchange in north Wichita.

Longwell was one of about two dozen elected officials from around the country invited to a briefing session on the president’s infrastructure plan, which seeks to divert about $200 billion from foreign aid to improve U.S. roads, bridges, ports and other facilities.

The plan is designed to use those federal funds to try to leverage state, local and private investment to ultimately pay for about $1.5 to $1.7 trillion in domestic infrastructure improvement. About $50 billion would be designated for rural projects under the president’s plan.

One project Longwell wants to get on the to-do list is the improvement of the freeway interchanges in north Wichita where I-235, I-135, K-254 and K-96 all come together within a short distance of each other. That complex of ramps and bridges is a notorious rush-hour bottleneck for people living in the northern suburbs.

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