Last week the Department of Transportation presented a draft of the Iowa Transportation Improvement Program (“Five Year Plan”) for 2011–2015 to the Transportation Commission. The plan includes investments in aviation, transit, railroads, trails, and highways. Some of the projects included in the plan simply maintain completion schedules of projects started in previous five year plans. Other monies are spent in an attempt to spur economic development.
One of the biggest sections of the five year plan contains the primary highway investments. State and federal funds totaling $2.3 billion will be spent between 2011 and 2015 on right-of-way acquisitions and construction on Iowa highways. The main components of the highway project is preservation of the existing system and enhanced safety features. More than $1.2 billion is reserved for these specific purposes. The amount of money spent on Iowa highways is still contingent on any revisions in a federal transportation spending bill.
Examples from Project List:
- Widen I-35 in West Des Moines from four to six lanes.
- New interchange on I-80 and US-65 near Altoona (Prairie Meadows).
- New interchange in Ankeny at NE 36th and I-35.
- New rest area on I-35 north of Ankeny (to replace existing Ankeny rest area).
- Completion of four-lane bypass around Fort Madison on US-61.
- New Missouri River bridge and new alignment of US-34 in Mills County.
- US-63 widening to four lanes in Bremer County.
- Widen US-20 to four lanes in western Iowa.
A full draft of the five year plan can be found at DOT Website for public comment. The Transportation Commission will consider approval of the five year plan at a June 8th meeting in Fort Madison.