The Iowa Transportation Commission formally approved the fiscal year 2021-2025 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program on June 9, which targets $3.6 billion worth of investments in highway right-of-way and construction, with 55 percent of that money to be invested in rural projects.
[Above photo by the Iowa DOT.]
However, the Iowa Department of Transportation noted in a statement that as a result of significant across-the-board construction cost increases in calendar year 2019, cost estimates were revised for many projects and that limited funding restricted the agency’s ability to add new projects to its long-term program.
Lack of funding also caused a few projects to be delayed by one year from the schedule identified in the agency’s previous 2020-2024 program, but no projects were removed from last year’s program, it said.
The “primary investment objective” of the new plan remains stewardship, including safety, maintenance, and modernization of Iowa’s existing highway system.
More than $2 billion is programmed from FY 2021 through FY 2025 for the modernization of Iowa’s existing highway system and for enhanced highway safety features, the Iowa DOT said, with more than $1.1 billion set aside for Iowa’s state-owned bridges.
The Iowa DOT also noted that state road funding is anticipated to drop over the next several months due to travel and vehicle sales reductions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Without knowing the ultimate impacts on state road funding and potential mitigating factors, the commission may adjust the program when more is learned about state and federal funding impacts,” the agency said.