Saturday, October 1, 2011
Former Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole gathered with friends and supporters on Saturday for the dedication at the Kansas Cosmosphere. The 88-year-old, Dole, proved he still had that famous dry sense of humor.
"If your car breaks down, call Senator Kerr," said Dole as the audience laughed. "Since he introduced the bill, he'll try his best to ensure it doesn't become an unpleasant experience with my name on it."
The K-96 bypass was built to keep heavy truck traffic from congesting the city of Hutchinson. The entire project cost nearly $42 million, most of it paid by federal funds. Speakers at the event, said it was the millions of dollars generated in economic development for the region, that is its biggest benefit.
"It's great for the whole community. No question. It means jobs and it means more productivity, so it's a great asset and that makes us proud that Bob's name is on it," said Dole's wife, Elizabeth.
The former Kansas senator spent more than three decades in Washington and played a major role in getting the bypass built.
"That's of course behind me now, but I had a great experience there as a Republican leader and had an opportunity to do a lot of things for my state," said Dole.
Construction of the bypass was complete in 2001 but it wasn't until 2004 when Kansas legislators decided to name the highway after Dole.
The former senator and his wife live in Washington but he said he will always be proud to be Kansan.