The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) recently received federal funding to repair 77 Iowa bridges that are in poor condition. The Iowa DOT received a total of $33.4 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Competitive Highway Bridge Program (CHBP).
Iowa received more funding than any state for improvement and repair to structurally deficient bridges. The funding was focused on Iowa bridges in poor condition, had traffic of 100 vehicles per day or higher, and bridges spanning less than 150 feet. No bridges in Winneshiek County fit all the criteria for funding.
Total construction cost of all 77 Iowa bridges is estimated at $61.2 million.
According to deputy director Nicole Moore of the Iowa Department of Transportation, "Bridges were carefully selected using a data-driven selection criteria to determine which county and municipal bridges would be included in the CHBP application. This application included county bridges considered 'structurally deficient', bridges with average daily traffic counts greater than 100, and generally bridges with a total length less than 150 feet. County bridges that fit that criteria were then ranked based on a priority point system that had already been established for another bridge funding program in Iowa."
Winneshiek County Engineer Lee Bjerke was disappointed with the allocation of federal funding, saying: "Bridge funding is what it is. There needs to be a large push to fund bridges or we will continue to replace as we are now, which is based on what funding will allow."