The Iowa Transportation Commission in the US has approved a nearly $3.6bn transportation improvement programme for the fiscal year period 2021-2025.

The programme comprises investments in public transit, highways, railroads, trails and aviation to strengthen the state’s multimodal transportation system.

It lists a more than $2bn investment over five years to upgrade Iowa’s existing highway system. Primarily, the funding will be used to modernise the highway network and install new safety features.

The commission has also allocated $1.1bn for the maintenance of state-owned bridges in Iowa.

The state noted to have reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges on the highway system from 256 in 2006 to 39 in 2019.

Iowa Transportation Commission and the state department of transportation also agreed to maintain an effective interstate system that enables freight movement to and from surrounding states.

The programme will invest in a six-lane improvement project on I-35 in Polk and Story Counties, I-74 Mississippi River Bridge replacement works in Bettendorf and the reconstruction of the I-80 / 380 Interchange near Iowa City.

In addition, the plan will invest in six-lane improvements works on I-80, I-80 Mississippi River Bridge replacement in Scott County and interstate system reconstruction in Council Bluffs, among others.

Several other non-interstate projects will also receive funding to facilitate traffic movement.

The commission anticipates a fall in state road funding as the Covid-19 outbreak reduced travel and vehicle sales.

Accordingly, the investment programme may be revised after the commission identifies the extent of the impact.

It further noted that cost estimates for various projects in the programme were revised due to an increase in across-the-board construction costs last year.

This reduced the funding available for new projects and meant that others were delayed.