According to a recent report by the Federal Highway Administration, the state of Iowa has the second worst bridges in the country. The report indicates one out of every five bridges in the state is in need of repairs or replacement. The Iowa Department of Transportation is striving to fix this awful ranking.
“On the primary road system, the system that the Iowa DOT is in charge of, back in 2006 we had 256 structurally deficient bridges, as of 2018 we’re down to 41,” said DOT Transportation Planner Dakin Schultz.
In Sioux City alone, the DOT has replaced multiple bridges along I-29, making Sioux City a safer place to drive.
Out of all the major bridges in Sioux City, only one is considered structurally deficient: the Gordon Drive viaduct that crosses over Lewis Boulevard and train tracks. The Iowa DOT says replacing this bridge could take over a year, and as much as 100 million dollars.”
That price tag may be feasible for an organization like the DOT, but almost all of the bridges in need of repairs are maintained by counties, who can’t always afford that kind of money.
“When you look at the replacement costs of the bridges,” Schultz said. “There just aren’t enough resources to replace all of them when they need to be replaced.”
And it doesn’t stop at bridges, Iowa roads are ranked as the 9th worst in the country, but with the Department putting more money into road maintenance, that could change too.