AMES, Iowa – May 9, 2017 – The Iowa Department of Transportation presented the Iowa Transportation Commission (Commission) with the draft Fiscal Year 2018-2022 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program (Program) at its meeting today. The Program reflects Iowa’s multimodal transportation system through inclusion of investments in aviation, transit, railroads, trails, and highways. The Commission and the Iowa DOT remain committed to providing modern, safe, and efficient transportation services to the public.
The draft Program is posted and available for public comment on the Iowa DOT's website www.iowadot.gov/program_management/five_year.html. The Commission is currently scheduled to consider approval of the Program at its meeting in Coralville to be held June 13.
This Program continues to advance investment of funding to improve state roads and bridges. These advances are possible due to additional revenue authorized by Senate File 257 and signed into law by Governor Terry E. Branstad on Feb. 25, 2015. As directed by the legislation, 100 percent of the additional revenue allocated to the Iowa DOT will be spent on critical road and bridge construction projects. These critical projects address pavement, bridge, and safety needs and also provide the necessary transportation infrastructure to lower transportation costs and support Iowa’s growing economy. A list of projects able to be funded due to Senate File 257 is included in the highway section of the Program.
A major component of the Program is the highway program that documents programmed investments in the Primary Highway System for the next five years. For FY 2018-2022, approximately $3.5 billion is forecast to be available for highway right of way and construction.
The highway section was developed to achieve several objectives. The Commission’s primary investment objective remains stewardship, including safety, maintenance, and modernization of Iowa’s existing highway system. More than $1.7 billion is programmed from FY 2018 through FY 2022 for modernization of Iowa’s existing highway system and for enhanced highway safety features.
The Program includes more than $1.2 billion of investments in Iowa’s state-owned bridges. Over the last few years, the number of structurally deficient bridges on the state highway system has been reduced from 256 in 2006 to 64 in 2016 as a result of the Commission’s emphasis to improve the condition of Iowa’s bridges.
The Commission and Iowa DOT continue to recognize the critical importance of an effective and efficient Interstate Highway System. The interstate highways connect all transportation systems in Iowa and allow major freight movements to occur delivering Iowa products to the world’s marketplace. The highway section includes significant interstate investments on Interstate 29 in Sioux City, the interstate system in Council Bluffs, and the I-74 Mississippi River bridge replacement in Bettendorf. Portions of these investments address stewardship needs.
Additional capacity and system enhancement projects
Another highway programming objective is developing and constructing capacity and system enhancement projects. The Commission was able to add construction for four-lane improvements to U.S. 61 in Des Moines and Louisa counties from north of Mediapolis to 1 mile north of Iowa 78 and for six-lane improvements to I-80 in Cedar County.
The Commission was also able to add several significant small and medium sized projects that address safety and condition needs. These projects include the following.
Continuation of previously programmed projects
The Commission remains committed to previous highway programming actions by maintaining the schedules of large multiyear corridor improvement projects. These multiyear corridor improvement projects include the following.
A large part of funding available for highway programming comes from the federal government. Accurately estimating future federal funding levels is dependent on having a multiyear federal transportation authorization bill. The current authorization, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, was signed into law Dec. 4, 2015. For the first time in many years, this authorization bill provides federal funding certainty for most of the time period covered by the Program. However, it is a five-year authorization bill that will expire Sept. 30, 2020, which is before the fourth year of the FY 2018-2022 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program. Therefore, there is some federal funding uncertainty after this date.
Contact: Stuart Anderson, director of the Iowa DOT’s Planning, Programming and Modal Division, 515-239-1661 or firstname.lastname@example.org