Improvements to Interstate Highway 35 in Polk and Story counties are among the projects included in the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Transportation Improvement Program for 2021-2025, presented to the Iowa Transportation Commission on Tuesday.

According to the program, $3.6 billion is expected to be available for highway right of way and construction, with just over half of that being invested in rural areas.

Cost estimates for many projects were revised because of increases in construction costs in 2019, limiting available funding for new projects added to the program. A few projects were delayed for a year, although no projects were removed from last year’s program, according to a news release.

The program is based on pre-COVID-19 funding forecasts, and could be revised as more is learned about the effects the pandemic will have on state and federal funding. State road funding is expected to drop over the next several months because of declines in travel and vehicle sales as a result of COVID-19.

The highway section of the program includes significant investments for six-lane improvements on I-35 in Polk and Story counties, I-74 Mississippi River bridge replacement in Bettendorf, I-80/380 interchange reconstruction near Iowa City, six-lane improvements on I-80 in Dallas and Johnson counties, I-80 Mississippi River bridge replacement in Scott County, I-380/Tower Terrace interchange construction in Hiawatha, and interstate system reconstruction in Council Bluffs.

The program also includes more than $1.1 billion for state-owned bridges. 

According to the release, the number of deficient bridges in the state highway system has declined from 256 in 2006 to 39 last year as a result of the state’s focus on improving bridges.

The complete 
program is posted on on the IDOT’s website and available for public comment. The commission is scheduled to consider approval of the program at its meeting on June 9.