Iowa agencies are working to identify infrastructure projects that have a funding value in excess of $2 billion. According to the White House, Iowa has been allocated $2.2 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for infrastructure projects that include road maintenance, airports, water quality and more, with additional funds to be made available over the next five years Law.
Most of the funds go to road and bridge infrastructure. To date, Iowa has been allocated $1.5 billion in funding and plans to receive an additional $3.9 billion over five years.
While some of that money was a continuation of previous federal funding bills, it resulted in a 30 percent increase in the Iowa Department of Transportation’s (Iowa DOT) construction program over the next five years, said Stuart Anderson, director of the Iowa DOT Transportation Development Division.
The five-year program was approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission in June. The program now includes a reconfigured interchange at Interstate 380 and Wright Brothers Boulevard in Cedar Rapids.
The increase in funding is “quite impactful,” Anderson said, but it’s smaller than the increase the department saw as part of a 10-cent hike in the state gas tax in 2015.
Anderson said the infrastructure money will have some impact on improving Iowa’s bridge problem. But as some bridges are repaired, others will fall into disrepair, and he doesn’t expect the number to improve much.
“It’s always that balance of how much progress you can make, but this additional funding will certainly help, especially with this special bridging funding,” Anderson said.
Another area that will be promoted is electric vehicles, buses and charging stations.
Iowa has been allocated $18.5 million to install electric vehicle chargers statewide. Over the entire five-year period, Iowa is to receive over US$50 million. According to the Iowa DOT, more than 5,880 electric vehicles were state-licensed in Iowa in 2021.
Iowa received more than $15 million to purchase low- and zero-emission buses for mass transit programs.
Thirteen rural Iowa school districts were also selected to receive rebates on electric and low-emission school bus purchases under an EPA program. The schools will purchase a total of 28 electric buses and two propane-powered buses.
Elsewhere, Iowa was awarded $68 million for infrastructure resilience, $360 million for ports and waterways, $5.9 million for pollution cleanup, and $57 million for energy efficiency and energy.