Interstate Study

PEL study

The Iowa DOT is studying the Interstate 80 corridor statewide to evaluate safety, capacity, and infrastructure deficiencies in an effort to increase mobility across the interstate system. This study will follow the Planning Environmental Linkages (PEL) model, that allows the Iowa DOT to establish a vision and goals for the system; and also give the opportunity to study several improvement strategies early in the planning process. Some of the strategies will be eliminated in later planning phases, while the others may be carried forward. The study will also help the department prioritize segments of the interstate for further development. This planning study will serve as guidance for future improvements to I-80.

The analysis completed during this study will be documented within a series of technical memos, each encompassing a different topic or issue related to I-80 at a system level. As each document is completed, a link will be provided on this website to allow you the opportunity to review the recommendations and provide input regarding any conclusions. We appreciate your time in helping to shape the future I-80 system.


Public Involvement Plan

Because transportation projects can greatly affect a community, public input is extremely important. Public involvement opportunities allow interested individuals the chance to provide ideas and comments regarding the development of a transportation project. This I-80 Feasibility Study - Public Involvement Plan (PIP) is the guiding document for the public involvement process. The study’s success hinges on communication and cooperation with the public, local communities, state and federal agencies. The PIP outlines how the Iowa DOT will communicate to stakeholders and the public throughout the study process.

Guiding Principles for the Interstate System

Guiding principles serve to support the development of the I-80 corridor across the state of Iowa. This technical memo will outline typical cross sections, vision, goals, and general philosophy of reconstructing the interstate. In some ways, many of the other analyses will feed into this document. It is anticipated that these principles will guide the development and reconstruction of the interstate into the foreseeable future.

System Evaluation of Interstate Overhead Bridge Structures

When the interstate was constructed, negotiations between the state and counties often decided which intersecting local roadways would be closed or cross the interstate by bridge. By 1960s' standards, these bridges were long enough to span a four-lane interstate, but as the system is rebuilt, replacement of the existing bridges to accommodate additional lanes will be required. This technical memo will analyze each bridge crossing on I-80 and determine which bridges are necessary for regional connectivity and which may cause undue hardship if the overhead structure is not replaced.

Viability of truck only or restricted truck lanes

Iowa’s transportation system is a vital link for the movement of goods and services regionally and nationally, as a significant amount of freight originates outside of Iowa with destinations also outside of Iowa. This technical memo will analyze the benefits and costs, as well as evaluate the viability of adding truck-only or restricted truck lanes to the interstate system.

Diversion Strategy (Evaluation of viability of alternate route improvements)

One consideration in studying the I-80 corridor is determining whether investments to the existing system would yield as much return on investment (ROI) when compared to investing in improvements on parallel routes. Occasionally, making improvements on parallel routes has the effect of drawing traffic off a congested route and increases capacity and mobility. This technical memo will evaluate whether improving routes parallel to I-80 would yield a better ROI than improvements to the interstate itself.

Automated Corridors

This technical memo will identify modern technologies and analyze infrastructure needs on the interstate system for smart and connected vehicles to improve safety and mobility in Iowa. This study will also research existing technologies by other states' DOTs and give a general overview of how other states are addressing new technologies.

Interstate 80 Existing Conditions

The existing conditions of I-80 will be evaluated through a series of technical memos. Specifically, these technical memos will analyze the existing infrastructure safety, geometric, capacity, operations, and environmental conditions on I-80. These technical memos will define deficiencies and restrictions on the existing system.

Resiliency and Vulnerability

This technical memo will analyze areas on the interstate systems that are of higher risk due to inclement weather conditions, such as rain or snow. This information will be beneficial in evaluating potential improvement strategies to improve safety and mobility at key areas of the system.

Viability of Modal Options

This technical memo will evaluate the viability of various modal options, including bus and train, for in- and out-of-state travel. An evaluation of these modal improvements and their potential to aid in congestion relief and increase mobility within the I-80 corridor will be investigated.

Tolling Considerations

This technical memo will look at using tolls as a component of an alternative financing approach. This will include a review of legal and policy issues and an evaluation of costs and benefits of applicable tolling schemes.

Vision for Infrastructure Investment

This technical memo will include various funding strategies to rebuild the I-80 system. The funding strategy will utilize recommendations from the other technical memos to assist in the identification and prioritization of sections for construction.

   Executive Summary       Technical Memo 

I-80 Planning Study Logo


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