DOT traffic camera view in Waterloo.

The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved grants for six projects to help improve roadways for businesses and business development.

The DOT’s Stuart Anderson says Waterloo won a grant to improve the roadways in the area of the Lost Island Waterpark and the proposed new theme park.

“It’s associated with an expected increase of about 200,000 visitors who would live over 100 miles away from this proposed new amusement park area. It also would almost 85,000 visitors who would live less than 100 miles away. So, this is very important for local development,” Anderson says.

The Transportation Commission approved up to $3.3 million in what’s called RISE funds for Waterloo — and the city will match that for the various road improvements. Anderson says there’s going to be a lot of circulation between the two parks and there is a need to improve the existing roadways and add some new.

Mills County received funding for roadway improvements into an area located south of Council Bluffs. “This is a project that is extremely important for an area that is for existing businesses as well as attracting new ones. Particularly an area that was impacted by the floods last year,” he says. He says it will give access to seven lots totaling more than 680 acres for industrial purposes.  He says the total cost is a little more than five million and the state funding is around half of that. This project is anticipated to be completed by July 2021.

Pottawattamie County received half of the funding for roadway improvements south of Council Bluffs. This project will provide improved access to fourteen lots totaling more than 28 acres for industrial purposes. “Its total cost is about $1.6 million, 50 percent would equal 580,000,” Anderson says.

The city of Des Moines is receiving $1.4 million to help with roadway improvements to relocate the main Des Moines International Airport commercial terminal entrance. The city of Cedar Rapids is receiving money for two projects for a total of around one million dollars.

One project will provide access to the West Cargo Expansion project at the Eastern Iowa Airport for airport purposes. The other project provides improved access to more than 25 acres for warehousing and industrial purposes