The Iowa Department of Transportation recently released a proposed five-year surface transportation construction program alongside a long-term public transit strategic plan – dubbed Iowa in Motion 2050 – for public comment.
[Above photo by the Iowa DOT.]
Presented to the Iowa Transportation Commission on May 12, the heart of the Iowa DOT’s draft fiscal year 2021-2025 transportation improvement program is a plan to invest $3.6 billion in highway right-of-way and construction, with 55 percent of that money to be invested in rural projects.
The agency added that more than $2 billion is being dedicated to the modernization of Iowa’s existing highway system and for enhanced highway safety features over the next five years, with more than $1.1 billion of investments planned for Iowa’s state-owned bridges.
However, the Iowa DOT stressed that state road funding is anticipated to drop over the next several months due to travel and vehicle sales reductions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Without knowing the ultimate impacts on state road funding and potential mitigating factors, this draft program is based on pre-COVID-19 state funding forecasts,” the Iowa DOT said in a statement. “The commission may adjust the program when more is learned about state and federal funding impacts.”
The agency added that the commission is due to review its proposed five-year surface transportation investment plan on June 9.
Meanwhile, the Iowa DOT said it typically tweaks its long-term public transit strategy every five years as part of a “systematic process” of looking at variables that influence statewide transit demand.
“During this process, we can identify gaps or redundancies in service and work to adjust to changing needs,” the agency noted. “These strategies are more broadly characterized as ‘right-sizing’ to better align the statewide public transit system.”
The Iowa DOT noted in a May 18 statement that the public comment period for its long-range public transit plan ends on July 1.