Iowa Transportation Commission approves additional highway work


December 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission today (Tuesday) approved an amendment to the 2012-2016 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program (Program) that will advance the letting of some highway projects into fiscal year (FY) 2012 and add others to the Program. One of the projects being added is in Cass County, another is in Adair County, while four others are in Pottawattamie County.

In Cass County, in addition to a project already in the works for Highway 148 from Highway 92 to Anita, the DOT plans to rehabilitate and widen Highway 83, from Wiota to Highway 148 in Anita. The project will cost about $2.1-million. In Adair County, a new project involves the rehabilitating of pavement on Interstate 80 eastbound, from the Cass County line to just west of Highway 25, at a cost of $500,000. And, in Pottawattamie County, in addition to an already planned for project to rehabilitate and widen Highway 59 from Highway Six to County Road G-30, there are three pavement rehab- and one guardrail- projects, in the works for Interstate 29 in 2012. The latest projects come with a pricetag of more than $5.4 million.

The DOT says the program amendment was possible because of additional funding becoming available after the Program was approved in June. The additional funding is the result of favorable construction project lettings (bid prices were lower than programmed amounts for some projects), Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) budget savings and receipt of federal funding that exceeded forecast amounts. It is projected that the amendment will result in FY 2012 being the largest program year in the Iowa DOT’s history.

Due to the timing of the additional funding, projects were selected that can be developed and scheduled for bidding this fiscal year, and begin construction in 2012. The DOT cautions that, while the amendment provides much needed funding to improve the state roadway system, there remains significant uncertainty in future funding. In particular, federal funding could be significantly reduced in federal FY 2013 because federal revenue flowing into the Highway Trust Fund is not sufficient to sustain existing funding levels.

The Iowa Transportation Commission continues to closely monitor funding and will make any necessary changes during the development of the 2013-2017 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program next spring.