Gov. Brownback proposes merging highway agencies

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Turnpike Authority would be merged into the state Department of Transportation under a proposal from Gov. Sam Brownback.

   The Republican governor said Tuesday evening during his State of the State address that the change would make state government leaner.

   The combined operations would be managed by the secretary of transportation.

   The Department of Transportation has oversight for more than 10,000 miles of highway and thousands of bridges.

   The state created the turnpike authority in the 1950s to manage what so far is the state's only toll road. The turnpike starts at the Oklahoma border in south-central Kansas, goes through Wichita and then to the northeast, ending west of the Kansas City area.

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