Last Friday, Rep. Cindy Axne announced the first round of funds for Iowa bridge repair that’s coming from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act she helped pass last year.
In Iowa, 4,571 bridges are rated structurally deficient, the most in the country, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. The state has identified 15,308 bridges that need repairs and the estimated cost is $3.1 billion.
The first investment will be $86.4 million for the 2022 fiscal year. The US Department of Transportation confirmed approximately $432 million will come to Iowa over the next five years for the state’s bridges.
“These funds will not only create jobs in our communities by funding long-overdue repairs, but they will also support our local economies by ensuring our goods can get to market and our workers can get to their jobs and families,” Axne said in a press release.
Of Iowa’s six federal members, only two voted for the infrastructure bill: Axne and Sen. Chuck Grassley.
That didn’t stop Rep. Ashley Hinson from taking credit Wednesday for infrastructure money going to locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River, though. She Tweeted about it and put out a press release emphasizing the importance of these waterways to Iowa’s economy. Iowans and other Twitter users have stepped in to remind her that she voted against the bill.
Bridges, locks, and dams are only part of Iowa’s infrastructure getting needed funding. The state is also getting $110 million for water infrastructure upgrades and more than $24 million for improving its airports.
According to a White House fact sheet, over five years Iowa will receive $3.4 billion for roads, $302 million for public transportation, $100 million for broadband, $51 million for an electric vehicle charging network, and more.