Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Means Improved Highways In Iowa

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Iowa could complete more highway projects than originally planned because of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021.

According to the White House, Iowa will receive about $5 billion overall, with $3.4 billion for highways and $432 million for bridge replacement and repairs.

In May, the Iowa Department of Transportation released a draft of its five-year, Iowa Transportation Improvement Program, which the Iowa Transportation Commission will consider for approval on June 14.

Because of the infrastructure bill, which passed Congress with bipartisan support, the Commission was able to add eight projects to the Highway Program, to address safety and operation needs, the draft said.

“In addition to providing funding certainty, IIJA resulted in approximately 30% more highway-related funding by increasing funding for existing programs and also creating new programs,” the draft reads.

Some of those new projects include a Des Moines River bridge in Ottumwa, improvements to US 63 in Tama County, and the Hwy 58 and Greenhill Road interchange in Waterloo.

A significant part of the funding has also been used for projects that were already scheduled, to cover increased construction costs. The DOT also noted the infrastructure bill offers certainty.

In addition to the Highway Program, the program also covers the State and Federal Trails Programs, the Statewide Transportation Alternatives Program, the Transit Program, the Aviation Program, Railroad Program, Traffic Safety Improvement Program, and the Clean Air Attainment Program.

The only Iowa representatives to vote for the infrastructure bill were Democrat Rep. Cindy Axne and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

 

Nikoel Hytrek
6/8/22

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