Rock Rapids, Iowa — A year after the statewide 10-cent per gallon increase in the state gas tax went into effect, the extra money you pay at the pumps has helped a large number of road projects, including both repair and construction.
The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) says they have also noticed no change in Iowans’ driving habits. They say that’s probably due to the lower gas prices that seem to have accompanied the gas tax hike.
According to Lyon County Secondary Road Engineer Laura Sievers, Iowa legislators have asked County Engineers to let the taxpayers know where the 10-cent gas increase has gone.
She says in Lyon County, the road department will be spending the 10-cent gas increase funds for 2016 on 1.65 miles of A-22 south of Rock Rapids. Locals call the road the two-mile bridge road, south of Rock Rapids. Sievers says this road is in desperate need of a reconstruction project and so it follows the general assembly’s exclusive use for critical road construction.
She says that the fiscal year 2016 State Road Funding increase due to the 10-cent gas increase was predicted to be $586,130 for Lyon County Secondary Roads. She says the project south of Rock Rapids was contracted at $568,254.04 with Flynn Company, Inc of Dubuque, Iowa. Flynn bid this project along with another 1.0 mile section of A-22 and 8.08 miles of L-26 south of Little Rock for a total contract of just under $3.6 million.
The road sections will be milled and then overlayed with at least five inches of Portland cement-based concrete.
The Rock Rapids area road is closed, and a detour has been posted for the Little Rock area road. They hope to have the projects finished by June.
The DOT says the tax hike has enabled the state and local governments to add new road repair and construction projects, and move others up in line. Of the roughly $213 million in new gas tax revenue generated in Iowa, they report that $101 million will go to state projects, $70 million to county projects and $42 million to city projects.