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Iowa DOT: Not affordable to maintain 110,000 miles of roads

A Cerro Gordo county bridge in poor condition.
A Cerro Gordo county bridge in poor condition.

DES MOINES – Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation said today that the continual maintenance of 110,000 miles of roads in the state is too expensive.

Iowa Department of Transportation Paul Trombino says Iowa’s transportation system is likely to shrink in the future, and the agency is looking to the future of how people travel along with how goods and materials are transported. These are a keys to re-designing Iowa’s roadways and how they inter-connect in a more efficient manner.

“With so many miles of road and bridges to maintain, repair or replace, the demand is much greater than the .10 per gallon (gas tax) increase can cover, the DOT said Monday. Gas tax dollars are used for upkeep and other new projects on Iowa’s roads.

Some counties in Iowa are already looking to let some less-traveled roads lapse into “B” grade roads, as a cost-cutting measure.  The Interstate highway system has contributed to patterns of traffic that have discouraged the use of some roads over the years.

The state has a five-year transportation plan, which can be read here.

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