Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says this year’s flooding may modify the political conversation heading into November’s general election.
"It probably brings the infrastructure issue back closer to the front of the table," Northey says. "We had that a little bit last year after the Minneapolis bridge (collapse) and there’s certainly discussion around gas tax and what we do for infrastructure in this state. We’ve challenged that infrastructure a lot with these kinds of storms."
The state gas tax finances road construction and repair and DOT officials said two years ago there’s too little in the state’s gas tax fund to pay for projects. That was before the flooding swept away dozens of bridges across the state and damaged roads.
Northey says many farmers have to drive long detours with their heavy farm equipment to find a usable road or a strong enough bridge. In addition, many rural roads as so muddy they’re impassable.