The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved a draft for the updated five-year construction and improvement plan.
The DOT’s Stuart Anderson says they had to deal with inflation and increases that made the dollars not stretch as far as they updated the plan.
“So with those higher construction costs, and with revenue being relatively flat over the last year, that means the commission had to consider some actions to be able to balance that program. And one of those actions was looking at delaying some projects by no more than a year,” Anderson says.
He says they ended up with 12 projects they propose moving back. “No projects were removed, and some were delayed. And the commission still was able to add some additional work in the program, particularly out in year five of this program for additional road bridge rehabilitation and reconstruction work,” he says.
Anderson says the commission felt it was important to keep up on the bridge work, as they’ve made good progress there. “In the last 17 years, we’ve gone from 256 bridges in poor condition back in 2006, to now we’re at 26, this year in 2023,” Anderson says. “So they’ve certainly seen the impact of those increased focus of investments on stewardship on our bridge conditions on the state highway system.”
Anderson says one of the projects that’s being delayed is in northeast Iowa. “A new interchange being proposed in the Cedar Falls area on Iowa 58 at Green Hill Road, that was in the program for beginning construction in 2027. That’s now being proposed to move to 2028,” he says. He says another interchange in last year’s program for U.S. 151 in Linn County near Springville has been moved from 2027 to 2028 in this draft program.
They are taking public input on the draft plan, which you can see on the DOT’s website. The Transportation Commission will vote on approving the plan at their June 13th meeting.