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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Report: 42% of Iowa Roads in Poor Condition

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013   

DES MOINES, Iowa - Nearly half of Iowa roads are in poor shape, and 23 percent of Iowa bridges are considered to be functionally obsolete, according to a study from the transportation research group TRIP.

Much of the money spent on roads over the years in Iowa has gone to new roads instead of fixing existing roads, which has led to urban sprawl around cities, the group's research found.

Stu Anderson, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation planning department, said what the state needs is an increase in the gas tax.

"What our estimate is here in Iowa is that our public roadway system requires an additional $215 million of funding each and every year," he said, "to address just those most critical needs that exist on the roadway system."

The state's gas tax was last adjusted in 1989, and efforts to raise the tax this past session fell flat. In Anderson's opinion, the Legislature's funding method of spending a lot one year and belt-tightening the next isn't working.

"These individual years of high investment won't be able to move the overall system conditions that much," he said, "just because we have such a large infrastructure system in the state."

Vehicle travel on Iowa highways has increased by 36 percent since 1990, he said, while the state's population has grown only 11 percent. The report from TRIP found that poor road conditions are a factor in one-third of all traffic deaths in Iowa.

The complete report is online at tripnet.org.


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