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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $6 Million in Grants for Iowa Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by expanding highway enhancements, interstate repairs and innovative bridge replacement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $6 million in grants for Iowa to fund an array of highway-related efforts ranging from I-35 repairs, replacing a bridge in Buchanan County with innovative technology, and reconstructing the Loras College Parkway.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Iowa residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Iowa received funding for the following projects.

Replacing and grading the roadway on I-35 from Warrant County line to I-80/I-235 $3,750,000
Building a bike/hiking trail and other enhancements at Great River Road: Bee Branch Creek Mississippi River Trail $1,000,000
Reconstructing the Loras College Parkway roadway and pedestrian plaza $489,150
Acquiring property for the Great River Road in Leopold $365,000
Replacing Slattery Bridge on Victor Avenue in Buchanan County using Geothynsetic Reinforced Soil $300,000
Making enhancements to Great River Road Rest Area, including adding trails and a footbridge $160,000
TOTAL $6,064,150

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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