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Iowa Transportation Commission Approves FY 2022-2026 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program

OSKALOOSA, IA — The Iowa Transportation Commission approved the Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program at a recent meeting. The program documents investments in Iowa’s multimodal transportation system covering aviation, public transit, railroads, trails, and highways. The commission and the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) remain committed to providing modern, safe, and efficient transportation services to the public.
Program Overview
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 2022-2026, approximately $3.6 billion is forecast to be available for highway right of way and construction.

While the impacts of COVID-19 on state road funding were much lower than anticipated, the commission still had to take action to balance highway program investments across the five-year period. While this resulted in the delay of a few projects, no projects were removed from the program. In addition, these actions allowed the commission to increase targeted funding for safety investments every year of the program and increase pavement rehabilitation work by $30 million in FY 2022.

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 $2.8 billion is programmed in FY 2022 through FY 2026 for the 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. The number of poor condition bridges on the state highway system has been reduced from 256 in 2006 to 35 in 2020 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 importance of maintaining an effective and reliable interstate system. The interstate system connects all transportation systems in Iowa and facilitates the efficient movement of freight within, to/from, and through Iowa.

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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 Mississippi River Bridge replacement in Le Claire, I-80/380 Interchange reconstruction near Iowa City, six-lane improvements on I-80 in Dallas and Johnson Counties, I-380/Tower Terrace interchange construction in Hiawatha, and the system reconstruction in Council Bluffs. New to this program is the addition of the I-380 pavement rehabilitation and widening from north of Forevergreen Road to north of Penn Street in the North Liberty area.

Along with these interstate projects, the commission has also included large multiyear corridor improvement projects. These multiyear corridor improvement projects include Iowa 9 Mississippi River Bridge replacement in Lansing, Iowa 17 in Boone County north of U.S. 30, U.S. 18 in Floyd County at the U.S. 218 intersection in Floyd, U.S. 30 in Harrison County for the Missouri Valley bypass, U.S. 30 in Story County from east of I-35 to 590th Avenue, U.S. 30 in Tama/Benton Counties from the Tama Bypass to the west junction of U.S. 218, U.S. 61 in Des Moines and Louisa Counties from Burlington to Iowa 92, U.S. 63 in Mahaska County for the Oskaloosa bypass, and U.S. 218 in Bremer County from Janesville to Waverly.

Additional System Enhancement Projects
Despite limited funding availability, the commission was able to add several projects that address safety and operational needs. This includes the final phase of resiliency work on Iowa 2 in Fremont County from Horse Creek to I-29. This project, scheduled for FY 2022, will elevate the roadway and support the construction of a protective dike to reduce closures during flooding events. Other projects added to the program include Super-2 improvements on U.S. 18 in Kossuth/Hancock Counties, U.S. 30 in Cedar County, and U.S. 63 in Tama County.
Federal Funding
A large part of funding available for highway programming comes from the federal government. Accurately estimating future federal funding levels requires a multiyear federal transportation authorization bill. The current authorization bill, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, was signed into law December 4, 2015. However, it will expire September 30, 2021, resulting in uncertainty about federal funding after this date.
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