The state Transportation Commission approved nearly two-point-four million dollars Tuesday for various historical development projects around the state.
Department of Transportation planner Craig Markley says the largest award of one-million dollars went to a project in Des Moines. Markley says it will go toward developing a capitol complex visitor orientation center and transportation museum by restoring the building know as the carriage center north of the state capitol.
Dallas County is getting 52-thousand-500 dollars for a project. He says it will help restore an 1889 railroad depot in the city of Dawson for use as a rest stop for people on the Raccoon River Valley trail between Perry and Dawson. Monona County was awarded 400-thousand dollars for a center honoring the nation’s first explorers. He says it’s the Lewis and Clark keelboat interpretive Discovery Center. Markley says this is phase three of the project and will complete the parking lot, walkways and interior of the center.
Markley says a railroad project sponsored by the Siouxland Historical Railroad Association and Sioux City won nearly 607-thousand dollars. Markley says it will provide funds to renovate the 400-thousand square foot machine/blacksmith shop building, construct a new 50 by 100 foot exhibit building, and provide consultation for developing a comprehensive master interpretation plan for the Milwaukee Railroad shop rehabilitation.
Another project will let Iowans go on-line to research records of the Iowa Historical Society. He says it provide on-line computer access to history, architecture and archeology documents contained at the society. He says the project got just over 225-thousand dollars. The central Iowa town of Colo won just over 131-thousand dollars.
He says they’ll restore and refurbish the interior of the Colo Motel building to the way it was in the 1950’s. The motel will then be open for business. Markley says the money for the projects comes from the federal government through the transportation program. He says the state has to spend a portion of the money for projects that “enhance” transportation.