I-80 I-380 interchange likely won't see Trump infrastructure money
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) —
Iowa had a seat at the table Monday when President Trump was talking through his new plan to overhaul the nation’s infrastructure.
One of the projects discussed: The Interstate-80 - 380 interchange.
Corridor DOT planners says despite the project being a topic of the conversation, the $200 billion infrastructure proposal probably won't bring extra money to the table.
“Really the bill itself would probably be later than what we need for this particular project since it's already programmed,” says Cathy Cutler, District Planner for the Iowa DOT.
When it comes to interstate projects Cutler says federal funding already covers 80-90% percent of project costs and she doesn't expect the president's proposal to impact that.
"We're viewing that as more funding not a change to our typical funding," says Cutler.
The President’s plan also calls for a big change in how federal permits are issued.
"It will speed the permit approval process from ten years to two and maybe even to one year," declared Mr. Trump.
Permits for 80- 380 are already in place but Cutler says speeding up the process will make a major impact on future projects.
"Projects do have to go through a lengthy process to obtain the necessary permits so if there's ways to streamline and make that more efficient that’ll really save tax dollars," she explains.
The President told Speaker of the Iowa House, Linda Upmeyer, that projects like this should be a top priority and the DOT agrees.
"In the last 10 years we've had 6 fatal crashes but we've had over 400 crashes," says Cutler.
The biggest problem is the heavy truck traffic combined with the tight cloverleaf turns that force drivers to slow down and merge in a very short distance.
the plan is to replace these loop turns with directional ramps which will stack bridges on top of each other and keep traffic flowing at a much safer pace.
"You'll only have to go down to maybe 50 miles an hour," Cutler says. She says the $300 million project will be made up of about 23 bridges and ramps that will stack traffic on top of each other while sending it safely on its way.
A new I-380 interchange at Forevergreen Road in North Liberty will play a major role in the project and is already under construction.
Work on the total project is set to be complete in late 2024.