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Iowa DOT Invests Record $1.47B for State Road Projects

Tue August 01, 2023 - Midwest Edition #16
Iowa Department of Transportation

Warm weather means construction season and Iowans may wonder what all those orange cones mean for the state of Iowa. The fiscal year ending June 30 signaled a record level of investment in roads and bridges based on projects awarded through the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT).

Since July 1, 2022, more than $1.47 billion across 839 projects was awarded to contractors through the Iowa DOT to improve mobility for Iowans and others who travel throughout the state and to increase the safety of roads and bridges at the city, county and state levels.

Fiscal year 2023 investments awarded through the Iowa DOT include:

  • $274.5 million in the farm-to-market system which helps assure the goods produced in the state seamlessly get to a global marketplace
  • $358 million in the interstate system essential to keep products flowing through the state
  • $26.8 million in the secondary system which provides smoother pavements and better roadway markings that help commuters have a safer commute
  • $136.8 million in urban roads and bridges which assure quick and efficient travel

"A safe and reliable transportation system enhances the quality of life for all Iowans and is essential for keeping our nation's economy moving and getting products to market — especially at a time of record high inflation," said Gov. Kim Reynolds.

"The need for investment in Iowa's roadways grows. Traffic volumes have now surpassed pre-pandemic levels. In addition, the cost to construct roads and bridges has continued to increase significantly over the last year," said Iowa DOT Director Scott Marler. "I applaud the cities, counties and Iowa's road and bridge contractors for their amazing work to strengthen our state's economy and improve our transportation system."

Significant investments in bridges have been made across all levels of government. Looking at DOT-owned bridges alone, over the last 17 years, the number of poor-condition bridges has dropped from 256 in 2006 to 26 in 2023.

While progress has been made in reducing the number of poor-condition bridges across Iowa, there are still many poor-condition bridges, especially on Iowa's county road system. Iowa's counties continue to invest and prioritize funds for bridge repair and replacement and to seek new opportunities for additional funding. In June, through a nine-county cooperative application, a federal discretionary grant of almost $25 million was awarded to replace nine bridges.

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