The Iowa Transportation Commission projects $2.7 billion in highway spending for Iowa from 2015-19. That figure was part of the latest Five-Year Plan which was approved on Tuesday at a meeting at Perry. The five-Year Plan is re-issued annually.
A hearing detailing an Iowa Department of Transportation study for the 12-mile stretch of U.S. 30 east of Tama to the Tama-Benton county line at Iowa highway 21 was held in Toledo on Nov. 21 of last year.
"We hope this becomes a priority for the commission," Scott Dockstader, District I Iowa Department of Transportation engineer told the more than 100 area persons attending that hearing.
The U.S. 30 Expressway across southern Tama County from the Marshall County line ends just east of Tama where the highway reverts back to the original two-lanes. It was indicated at a hearing last year work on improving this section of roadway might advance but was not in a plan adopted on Tuesday.
News-Herald file/John Speer
But the Five-Year Plan as adopted had no mention of this stretch.
At that time, DOT officials said they favored a route north of the present highway which would allow construction without traffic interruptions or delays.
Delayed but not left out entirely in the new plan is U.S. Highway 30 from the Tama-Benton county line at Iowa Highway 21 east to U.S. Highway 218 in Benton County, a distance of just under 14 miles.
This stretch was previously included as a "multi-year corridor improvement project" and was anticipated to lead up to completion of the U.S. 30 Expressway in Tama County from Tama's east side to Iowa Highway 21.
"Additional public input and project development work is required to determine the project's final design. Therefore, the Commission rescheduled right of way for this corridor to FY 2018 with future consideration for construction programming," the Iowa DOT news release said.
Thw right-of-way acquisition is estimated at $13 million in cost for property.
The new Five-Year Plan for Tama County only shows a bridge deck replacement over Wolf Creek on Iowa 21 north of Dysart in the year 2017. It is estimated at $281,000 in cost.