New Law Would Make County Engineers Submit Annual Bridge Repair Reports

bridge_1Northwest Iowa — Iowa’s County Engineers will be required to file annual reports explaining how state gas tax money is being used to repair or replace rural bridges, under a bill passed by the Iowa Legislature.  The move comes a year after the gas tax was raised a dime a gallon.

Representative Mary Wolfe, a Democrat from Clinton, says it’s a good way to ensure accountability for the extra tax money.

Representative Josh Byrnes, a Republican from Osage, was among the chief advocates for raising the gas tax to address problems with the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

County engineers will submit their reports to the Iowa Department of Transportation. Democratic Senator Matt McCoy of Des Moines says the D-O-T will compile the information and present it to legislators.

The Road Information Program currently rates 22 percent of Iowa’s rural bridges as structurally deficient. Only two other states have a higher percentage of deficient bridges. The reports from county engineers about progress on addressing problem bridges would be required in each of the next three years if the governor signs the bill into law.

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