Iowa DOT unveils five-year transportation improvement program

May 14, 2020

Approximately $3.6 billion is forecast to be available for highway right of way and construction

The Iowa DOT this week presented the Iowa Transportation Commission with the draft FY 2021-2025 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program.

The program documents investments in Iowa’s multimodal transportation system covering aviation, public transit, railroads, trails, and highways. The commission and the Iowa DOT say both agencies remain committed to providing modern, safe, and efficient transportation services to the public.

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 2021-2025, approximately $3.6 billion is forecast to be available for highway right of way and construction. The commission says it continues to maintain a balance between rural and urban investment with approximately 55% of the $3.6 billion program being invested in rural areas.

The Iowa DOT says state road funding is anticipated to drop over the next several months due to travel and vehicle sales reductions as a result of COVID-19 impacts. Without knowing the ultimate impacts on state road funding and potential mitigating factors, this draft program is based on pre-COVID-19 state funding forecasts. The commission may adjust the program when more is learned about state and federal funding impacts.

More than $2 billion is programmed from FY 2021 through FY 2025 for the modernization of Iowa’s existing highway system and for enhanced highway safety features. The program also includes more than $1.1 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 39 in 2019 as a result of the commission’s emphasis to improve the condition of Iowa’s bridges.

The highway section of the program includes significant interstate investments for six-lane improvements on I-35 in Polk and Story Counties, I-74 Mississippi River Bridge replacement in Bettendorf, I-80/380 Interchange reconstruction near Iowa City, six-lane improvements on I-80 in Dallas and Johnson Counties, I-80 Mississippi River Bridge replacement in Scott County, I-380/Tower Terrace interchange construction in Hiawatha, and the interstate system reconstruction in Council Bluffs.