PNS Daily Newscast - April 18, 2019 

The DOJ and Bill Barr said to plan on Mueller time – without Mueller. Also on the Thursday rundown: The Keystone State considers cap and trade. Plus, the RECLAIM Act aims to invest in coal communities.

Daily Newscasts

Iowa Needs Funds to Fix Worn-Out Roads

September 14, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa - While Congress and presidential candidates are giving plenty of attention to the economy, Iowa's roads have fallen into a state of disrepair, not including those damaged this summer by Missouri River flooding.

In 2009, Iowa received millions of dollars through the federal stimulus program to repair miles of state roads, many of which are at least 50 years old. Dan Franklin, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation's Office of Policy and Legislative Services, says that kind of spending is needed again now because more than half of the state's roads are no longer considered to be in good condition.

"We were able to pave and improve many miles of highway and do a lot of improvements in the transit and air system as well. However, while it did alleviate some of the backlog, we still have considerable backlog of needs for improving the systems."

It would take more than $500 million annually for the next 20 years to restore the current backlog of poor-condition Iowa roads to good repair and maintain the system, Franklin says, adding that President Obama's infrastructure proposal would help.

"We're looking at the jobs bill. It looks like it's very similar to the funding and the programs that we were able to take advantage of two years ago with the Recovery Act."

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, every dollar spent to keep a road in good condition avoids up to $14 needed later to rebuild the same road. Money would likely go to projects already planned for this year, Franklin says, and for road repairs that have been on hold because there isn't funding. The bill's opponents say it would add more to the nation's budget deficit.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA