Iowa DOT News

Iowa DOT begins traffic information collection in southwest Iowa

AMES, Iowa – May 18, 2016 – The Iowa Department of Transportation is working across the state this spring and summer to determine how many cars, trucks, and other vehicles are using the state, county, and city roadways.

This year’s efforts are concentrated in southwest Iowa, but occasionally crews will work elsewhere in the state. Many employees will spend peak hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. at one location counting the morning, noon, and evening traffic. They count and classify vehicles, record vehicle turning movements, and gather other data necessary to plan the future of Iowa's roadway system. 

Other employees will be placing and checking portable traffic recorders in the same general areas. When the recorders are set, they usually record data for one or two days and are checked periodically. Employees responsible for the recorders work various shifts, including hours outside of a traditional business day.

Another data collection method involves verifying or collecting railroad crossing information.  Rail crossing characteristics such as the number of tracks, the types of warning devices including signs, lights, horns, and control gates present are entered into a hand-held field computer.  This information is then used in rail crossing planning, engineering, and safety purposes.        

Other statewide work scheduled for this summer includes the installation, upgrading, and maintenance of permanent, automatic traffic recorders and weigh-in-motion equipment.

Citizens in the area can expect to see Iowa DOT employees and vehicles in their communities all hours of the day.

All of this work is critical to the future of the state's transportation system. The information gathered allows transportation officials to better predict traffic trends, thus allowing them to plan improvements that will give Iowans the most benefit for each dollar spent.


Contact: Mark Hansen at 515-239-1990 or


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