Third District U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids visited DeSoto last week, shadowing construction workers on Kansas Highway 10 to bring attention to the federal bipartisan infrastructure law.
The infrastructure law has already supported 63 highway modernization and improvement projects in the 3rd District, Davids said, including the installation of new decking on the K-10 bridge spanning Lexington Avenue in DeSoto.
Davids helped Clarkson Construction Co. crews as they dug potholes to expose utility lines at the K-10 Lexington Avenue and West 103rd Street Exit – the main route for the Panasonic plant, which is scheduled to open in March 2025.
“The project I worked on today is a great example of how investing in infrastructure can help prepare our community for future economic growth, like Panasonic,” she said. “I am excited to shadow more hard-working Kansans and see firsthand how the infrastructure law is benefiting Kansans’ everyday lives.”
Kevin Kellerman, project manager, said the Clarkson team was thrilled to lead the Kansas Department of Transportation’s first-ever progressive design-build project in DeSoto.
“We are proud to have an opportunity to contribute to a project that will leave a transformational impact on the surrounding community and its future growth,” Kellerman said.
The $4-billion, electric vehicle battery plant is expected to create 4,000 jobs and is regarded as the biggest economic development project ever in the state’s history Davids recently hosted U.S. Dept. of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in DeSoto to highlight the significant impact the Panasonic plant will have on the area. She also hosted discussions with local business and manufacturing leaders on how to take advantage of recent federal legislation to bring jobs to the area, lower consumer costs and support workforce development.
The bipartisan infrastructure law is credited with improving Kansas roads, water quality and broadband access. In all, nearly $1.5 billion has been announced and is headed to Kansas with more than 121 specific projects identified for funding, she said.