The Iowa Department of Transportation unveiled a draft of a five-year transportation plan on May 14 that projects $3.5 billion will be available for highway construction between fiscal year 2020 and 2024, with 55 percent of those funds planned for investment in rural areas – monies generated in part by a fuel tax increase passed by the state in 2015.
[Above photo by Air Force Staff Sergeant Oscar Sanchez-Alvarez.]
The agency said more than $2 billion of those funds will go towards “modernizing” Iowa’s existing highway system and for enhanced highway safety features as part of its draft plan, including more than $1 billion of investments in Iowa’s state-owned bridges.
Over the last few years, the Iowa DOT said in a statement that the number of structurally deficient bridges on the state highway system declined from 256 in 2006 to 43 in 2018.
The highway section of the draft plan includes “significant interstate investments” on I-29 in Sioux City for reconstruction, six-lane improvements on I-35 in Polk and Story Counties, replacement of the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge in Bettendorf, reconstruction of the I-80/380 Interchange reconstruction near Iowa City, six-lane improvements on I-80 in Johnson and Cedar Counties, improvements to I-380 in Hiawatha for the Tower Terrace Interchange, and upgrades to the I-80/I-29 system in Council Bluffs.
The agency added that Iowa Transportation Commission will consider the draft of its five-year transportation plan at its next meeting on June 11.