The Iowa Transportation Commission today approved taking some money from the five-year improvement program to take care of some more immediate repairs. Department of Transportation spokesperson, Dena Gray-Fisher, says an additional $12-million will be allocated for contract maintenance to fix things like potholes.
She says the change is a direct result of the harsh winter conditions that damaged the roadways. Gray-Fisher says it has been one of the worst years in history for winter damage. She says the entire state has had a tremendous amount of snow, with a lot of salt applied to the roadways, and the constant freezing and thawing, have taken a toll on the roadways.
Gray-Fisher says once the weather clears up, they can put the money to use in patching the pavement. Gray-fisher says they want to get through the freeze-thaw period before starting the work, which should be around April 15th. She says D.O.T. crews will continue to make temporary repairs and then they will start with the contract work to make permanent repairs.
Gray-Fisher says the additional money for the repairs became available when bids for some projects in the five-year plan were lower than expected. The new money adds to the $18-million the D.O.T. had already budgeted for the pothole repairs.
The Transportation Commission also approved one million dollars today to match federal money approved for a study of passenger rail service between Chicago and Omaha.