The Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) has proposed a $3.5 billion, five-year construction plan to maintain and upgrade the state’s 8,871 miles of state and federal highways and 4,103 bridges, the Des Moines Register reports.
More than $1.6 billion is scheduled for stewardship programs—including safety, maintenance, and modernizing the existing road system—and $1.2 billion will be spent on state-owned bridges.
“Transportation powers the creation of wealth in our nation and state, unleashing opportunity for economic activity. Iowa’s economy is dependent on a robust and diverse transportation system to move products to a global marketplace. Iowa’s transportation system has long provided our state’s businesses a competitive advantage and that remains true today in the global economy,” DOT officials said in a prepared statement, according to the news agency.
The five-year plan includes major reconstruction work on Interstate 29 in Sioux City and the interstate system in Council Bluffs; the replacement of the I-74 bridge over the Mississippi River in Bettendorf, and construction to finish the expansion of U.S. Highway 20 in western Iowa, according to the report.
The department also says it has added construction work for four-lane improvements on U.S. Highway 61 in Des Moines County and accelerated the construction of U.S. Highway 30 in Benton County for the Iowa Highway 21 interchange.
In the Des Moines metro area, the program includes work to improve U.S. Highway 6 in Polk County and Iowa Highway 141, as well as improvements on I-35 and on U.S. Highway 69 in Ankeny. In Jasper County, the DOT plans to construct a new interchange at Iowa Highway 117/330 where at least 11 people have been killed in traffic crashes since 2003.
The Iowa Transportation Commission is scheduled to consider approval of the five-year plan on June 14.