- The Iowa Department of Transportation has proposed spending $3.5 billion over a period of five years to repair, maintain and, if necessary, upgrade state bridges and highways, The Des Moines Register reported.
- The IDOT plan includes $1.6 billion of "stewardship" and modernization between 2017 and 2021 and $1.2 billion for bridge maintenance. The Iowa Transportation Commission will consider IDOT's plan in June.
- The Iowa Legislature voted last year to increase diesel fuel taxes by 10 cents a gallon, which brings in $250 million a year for repair and maintenance of roads.
According to The Register, by focusing on bridge maintenance, Iowa has reduced the number of "structurally deficient" bridges from 256 to 81 since 2006. In February, an American Road and Transportation Builders Association study found that 10% — 58,495 — of U.S. bridges in 2015 were structurally deficient. Iowa topped the list with 5,025.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimated at the time that there was a $115 billion backlog of bridge repairs and that, at the current rate of funding, it would take 21 years to complete.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issued a report this week that said the U.S. is risking 2.5 million jobs and $4 trillion in gross domestic product by ignoring the coming $1.44 trillion gap in infrastructure funding in the next 10 years. The association said that funding for surface transportation is the area most lacking investment.
In an interview with Construction Dive, Federal Highway Administration Administrator Gregory Nadeau said that the FHWA is committed to improving efficiency on the country's infrastructure projects and that the agency has enlisted the private sector to help. Nadeau said that the FHWA's Every Day Counts program expedites idle highway projects using new "technological or process innovations."