Biden Administration Gives Cedar Falls Street Project $10M Boost

Main Street in Cedar Falls/Photo from city of Cedar Falls

By Ty Rushing

June 28, 2023

Cedar Falls City Administrator Ron Gaines celebrated the news that his community will receive $10 million in federal funding to help with a complete overhaul of its Main Street.

“This grant is a tremendous achievement for Cedar Falls and we are extremely excited,” said Gaines, who was hired to run the northeast Iowa city’s day-to-day operations in 2016.

Cedar Falls was one of three Iowa recipients of a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant when the awards were announced Wednesday by the US Department of Transportation. 

Collectively, Iowa received a little more than $35 million, and $2.2 billion was dispersed nationally.

RAISE grants are funded by President Joe Biden’s 2021 bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Former Rep. Cindy Axne (D), and US Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) voted for it, while US Sen. Joni Ernst, and Reps. Randy Feenstra, Ashley Hinson, and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, all Republicans, voted against it.

The Cedar Falls Mains Street Revitalization project is estimated to cost $31 million and involves a complete reconstruction of Main Street between University Avenue and Sixth Street to include complete streets enhancements, dedicated on-street bike lanes, accessible sidewalks and trails for people with disabilities, mid-block crossings, transit stops, and lighting and underground utility improvements.

The largest allotment of RAISE funds, about $24.7 million, will go to replace bridges in poor condition in Clay, Crawford, Henry, Lee, Lucas, Mitchell, Page, Pottawattamie, and Wright counties.

Nine bridges in poor condition that will be replaced.

Iowa regularly ranks in the top five for most structurally deficient bridges in the country.

Clear Lake is the final recipient and it will receive $300,000 for a planning project to modernize the infrastructure that connects the north Iowa community’s downtown to Interstate 35. This includes the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and further development of a regional trail network.

Overview of planned Clear Lake road project.

“Using the funds in President Biden’s infrastructure law, we are helping communities in every state across the country realize their visions for new infrastructure projects,” said US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

“This round of RAISE grants is helping create a new generation of good-paying jobs in rural and urban communities alike, with projects whose benefits will include improving safety, fighting climate change, advancing equity, strengthening our supply chain, and more,” he continued.


by Ty Rushing

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  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

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