The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved the latest version of the five-year road improvement plan.
The pandemic has created some uncertainty about the state funding sources — but DOT planner Stuart Anderson says the commission adjusted. “The forecasts that commission used were all done pre-COVID-19, and in discussions with the commission, they decided to continue using those forecasts for the development of this program,” according to Anderson. This is a five-year program and hopefully, those impacts of COVID-19 don’t extend a real long period in that five-year program.”
Anderson says the Transportation Commission has for the last several years used a stewardship approach in setting projects.
“Which really means putting more money into rebuilding and repairing existing roads and bridges. Doing more modernization improvements along existing infrastructure,” Anderson says.
New additions to the program this year include six-lane improvements on I-35 in Polk and Story Counties, I-74 Mississippi River Bridge replacement in Bettendorf, I-80/380 Interchange reconstruction near Iowa City, six-lane improvements on I-80 in Dallas and Johnson Counties, I-80 Mississippi River Bridge replacement in Scott County, I-380/Tower Terrace interchange construction in Hiawatha, and the interstate system reconstruction in Council Bluffs.
He says they also added work to increase the resiliency of Iowa Highway 2 in southwest Iowa along the Missouri River to increase the elevation for the area that has seen a lot of flooding. Anderson says the amount of money spent on the road plan has stayed pretty stable. He says it was $3.5 billion last year and this year it is $3.6 billion. “The state funding is relatively flat. We of course has the fuel tax increase in 2015, which provided a big bump in funding.”
You can see the complete plan on the Iowa DOT’s website.