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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 01, 2004
Contact: Doug Hecox, 202-366-0660
FHWA 20-04i

U.S. DOT Grant to Help Fund Replacement of Two Bridges Near Ames, Iowa

Two new Federal Highway Administration grants, totaling $600,000, will help replace two narrow bridges near Ames and Des Moines, IA, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.

"Replacing these bridges will ensure the continued safety and vitality of Boone and Madison Counties," said Secretary Mineta. "Our roads are safer than ever before and today we're putting a down payment on even safer roads."

One of the grants announced today will help replace the existing 87-year-old one-lane bridge over Squaw Creek south of Ames with a wider two-lane bridge capable of supporting vehicles heavier than its current 15-ton limit. The other grant will help replace a similarly narrow 60-year-old bridge north of Des Moines.

The projects, estimated to cost $835,000 and to be completed in under a year, will feature more durable construction and improved pavement markings. Both projects will rely on Accelerated Construction Technology to cut construction time by up to 60 percent. The shortened construction time will lower exposure of the public to work zones and traffic detours and allow normal traffic to resume sooner.

Neither of the bridges being replaced is one of Iowa's historic "covered" bridges made famous in Robert James Waller's novel, "The Bridges of Madison County," later made into a motion picture.

"Farming areas like these depend on a reliable roadway system and these grants will make it easier for Iowans to keep people, goods and opportunity moving through these two counties," said Federal Highway Administrator Mary E. Peters.

Since 1991, the FHWA has provided funds to states seeking to improve the safety, longevity or utility of key bridges with innovative materials or designs.

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