The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved spending six-and-a-half million for projects designed to enhance transportation in the state. Stuart Anderson, a planner with the Iowa Department of Transportation, says the commission awards grants in three categories. One in the scenic and environmental category was for 252-thousand dollars. He says that’s for a project to acquire 152 acres for the Iowa River Greenbelt in Hardin county to preserve the area. Another grant of 500-thousand was awarded in the historical category. He says the funding will help restore a building at the Spaulding manufacturing site in Grinnell for the Iowa Transportation Museum. Anderson says other grants were awarded trail and bike projects. He says one of significance in that category is the Waukee to Dawson trail right-of-way. It’s an old Union Pacific rail corridor and the grant will help them acquire the 28-mile stretch. Anderson says there’s usually only one chance to acquire rail right-of-way before it’s split up into pieces. He says the state gets about 12-million federal transportation dollars each year to award to these “enhancement” projects. This is the first round of grants.
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