Nov 16, 2021 - News

What the bipartisan infrastructure bill means for Iowa

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Billions of dollars in federal funding for bridges, roads, broadband and more will flow to Iowa under the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law Monday.

Why it matters: Roughly 19% of Iowa's nearly 24,000 bridges are in poor or worse condition, according to federal inspection reports.

  • When it comes to overall number of bridges in poor condition, Iowa ranks #1 worst in the nation, according to a 2021 report by The American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

Driving the news: A bipartisan mix of Congress members, including Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), joined Biden for a signing ceremony on the White House lawn Monday, along with mayors, governors and workers.

  • "This law is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America," the president said. "It leaves no one behind, and it marks an inflection point that we face as a nation."

Between the lines: The bill received support from two members of the state's congressional delegation, Axne and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

  • The rest voted against it.

By the numbers: Over five years, Iowa expects to receive roughly $3.4 billion to improve its highways and $432 million for bridge repairs, according to White House projections. Other allocations include:

  • $100 million for expanding broadband internet coverage.
  • $638 million to improve water infrastructure.
  • $305 million for public transportation.

Zoom out: The bill also includes $7 billion for Army Corps of Engineers for storm resiliency and $3.5 billion for FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance.

  • Severe storms and flooding have become a major issue in the state as river towns increasingly face more flood threats with its dam systems, especially along the Mississippi River.

What they're saying: The money will improve roadway pavement conditions and speed up construction projects, Stuart Anderson, of the Iowa Department of Transportation, told KCCI.

  • Funding will trickle down to county and city roads as well.

What's next: City and state leaders will need to approve specific details on how they want to use the funds.


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