Christy VanBuskirk. (RI photo)

The latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers gives Iowa infrastructure an overall passing grade of C.

The grade for the state’s roads improved to a B-. That’s up from a C+ in the group’s previous report card. Christy VanBuskirk, an engineer with the Iowa DOT, said the gas tax increase the legislature approved eight years ago has made a difference. “Today, 25% of Iowa’s roads are in poor or mediocre conditions, down from 29% in 2019,” VanBuskirk said during a news conference in the Iowa Capitol.

The condition of Iowa’s bridges gets another D plus from the group of civil engineers, though. VanBuskirk said one out of every five bridges in Iowa is rated in poor condition.

“Reducing the number of poor bridges is a DOT priority,” she said. “Over the past four years, it achieved a 26% reduction in state-owned poor bridges.”

However, more than 80% of the bridges in Iowa are owned by cities and counties. The group of Iowa-based civil engineers says getting more money to repair and replace poor bridges will raise the grade and they’re calling for more monitoring of bridges built before 1973.

The group rated 11 other types of infrastructure, including airports, railroads and even public parks. Iowa roads and highways were the only category to see improvement in the group’s 2023 report card compared to the one issued four years ago.

Radio Iowa