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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, April 28, 2002
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 16-02

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces $8.8 Million in Grants for Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS--U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, joined by U.S. Rep. Jim Leach, today announced that Iowa will receive $5.83 million in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funding for improvements to I-80 in eastern Iowa and $2.97 million for the Edgewood Road project in Cedar Rapids.

"President Bush in his State of the Union address called on Americans to get the economy growing again," Secretary Mineta said. "The funds we are providing today will help accomplish that on projects that will enhance mobility, improve access to work and provide good jobs for the people of Iowa."

The funds for I-80 will be used to rebuild a section of I-80 in Johnson County that was constructed in 1963. Under the project, a segment of I-80 between the US 6 and Iowa 965 interchanges in Coralville will be widened to six lanes with new pavement and reconstructed shoulders. This work is part of a broader, five-year project to widen and reconstruct a 7.3-mile section of I-80 from the Tiffin interchange to the Iowa 1 interchange.

The Edgewood Road project will improve access to Eastern Iowa Airport by eliminating two at-grade crossings of rail lines along the road, providing the airport with the only arterial access roadway without a surface rail conflict. By removing the at-grade crossings, the project also will eliminate delays along a road that is heavily used by commuters and commercial vehicles.

The I-80 project is eligible for funding under the Interstate Maintenance Discretionary Funding Program, while the Edgewood Road Project is eligible under the Transportation and Community and System Preservation (TCSP) pilot program, two of several discretionary categories administered by the FHWA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

FHWA discretionary funds are made available to projects after being selected by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation based on criteria established by federal law and USDOT regulations and procedures. Congress also makes decisions on some grants. The Interstate Maintenance program provides funds for projects involving repair and improvements to the Interstate Highway System. TCSP funds are used to help achieve locally determined goals such as improving transportation efficiency; reducing the potential negative effects of transportation on the environment; providing better access to jobs, services and trade centers; reducing the need for costly future infrastructure; and revitalizing underdeveloped and brownfield sites. TCSP grants also can be used to examine urban development patterns and create strategies that encourage private companies to work toward these goals in designing new developments.

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