Gov. Chet Culver announced I-Jobs funding for road, bridge projects - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gov. Chet Culver announced I-Jobs funding for road, bridge projects

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - "Whether it's an urban area like Des Moines or a small town in Northeast Iowa like McGreggor in Clayton County, every part of our state and the people of our state will benefit directly."

That was what Governor Chet Culver said Thursday, as he announced nearly $100 million in road and bridge funding across the state. Money is being made available for every county in Iowa. It's part of the $830 million I-Jobs initiative.

Of the $95 million total announced, $45 million will go toward road projects in all 99 counties. Another $50 million will go to 55 bridges across the state.

Just over $600,000 will be coming to Iowa City, but it may be a while before we know what that money will be used for. City Engineer Ron Knoche told us it's not enough for any huge projects, but it's a welcome handout in a time of economic need.

"What we'll probably be looking at is some sort of street repair program," said Knoche. He says the city will need to examine its needs, before dedicating the money to anything. But, he gave us an example of what size of a project it could be put toward.

"We actually just bid a project [Wednesday] through the federal stimulus money, on an overlay down on the South Riverside Drive area, from Highway 6 down to the Airport, and $785,000 was the bid on that job."

Knoche says it's a small part of the puzzle, but that any help from the state is welcome at this point.

"We've had to cut back on our rehabilitation projects that we've been doing, so this will help us and give us kind of a jumpstart and get back into the program, and get some of those streets brought back together."

Knoche didn't have any specifics on a timeline for implementing the funds. He's just happy to see them at a time when putting heavier burden on taxpayers to fund projects isn't usually well-received.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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