Iowa DOT Spending $3.5B to Improve Road Safety

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Transportation wants to make the roads safer, and they’ve announced a $3.5 billion plan to do it.

The plan covers the next five years, and if it’s approved by the transportation commission, Highway 141 will become one of the first construction zones. That project will involve re-grading and re-paving the highway between Interstate 35 and Highway 44. This $5.9-million project would begin and end next year.

A controversial interchange is also on the agenda in Jasper County.

The DOT is using eminent domain to take farmland for the project along Highway 330.

It involves creating a diamond interchange at the intersection of highways 330 and 117. The DOT says it’s needed because of the more than 121 crashes there since 2003. The nearly $16-million project would be finished by the end of 2019.

One of the most expensive projects, an expansion of I-35 in Ankeny, is also one of the last to be finished.

The DOT wants to expand the interstate to three lanes each direction between Oralabor Road and Northeast 36th Street. The nearly $51-million dollar project would involve reconfiguring two intersections and installing a new bridge.

Construction would take three years from 2018 to 2021.