Iowa In Motion

2017 State Transportation Plan

Chapter 1: Looking ahead to 2045 – What the Plan is, what it includes, how it was developed, and how it is used
Chapter 2: Understanding Iowa – How Iowa will be different in 2045, and how the transportation system will be affected
Chapter 3: Planning considerations – Various key issues to consider as we plan the future transportation system
Chapter 4: System overview – Mode-by-mode summary of Iowa’s current transportation system
Chapter 5: Choosing our path – Vision for the transportation system, associated investment areas, and action plan with supporting strategies and improvement needs for each mode
Chapter 6: Paying our way – Cost to maintain/improve the system, anticipated future revenues, and potential shortfall and implications
Chapter 7: Making it happen – Financing, programming, and performance monitoring
Appendices – Federal requirements, public input survey results, revenue generating mechanisms, and post-adoption technical corrections

What’s the Plan?

The state transportation plan (Plan) is a long-range document that addresses federal requirements and serves as a transportation investment guide. The Iowa Department of Transportation’s (DOT) long-range planning process is called Iowa in Motion, and the most recent Plan developed through this process was adopted in 2017. The Plan is updated every five years in order to stay current with trends, forecasts, and factors that influence decision-making, such as legislation, funding, technological changes, and State priorities.

The Plan forecasts the demand for transportation infrastructure and services to 2045 based on consideration of social and economic changes likely to occur during this time. Iowa’s dynamic economy and the need to meet the challenges of the future will continue to place pressure on the transportation system. With this in mind, the Plan provides direction for each transportation mode, and includes a continued emphasis on stewardship. The Iowa DOT views stewardship as efficient investment and prudent, responsible management of our transportation system.

As Iowa changes and the transportation system evolves, one constant will be that the safe and efficient movement of Iowans and our products is essential for stable growth in Iowa’s economy. Iowa’s extensive multimodal and multijurisdictional transportation system is a critical component of economic development and job creation throughout the state. The system is also a major contributor to Iowans’ quality of life.

What’s in the Plan?

Plan content includes the following.

  • Trends: An analysis of demographic, economic, passenger, and freight trends, and what these trends mean for Iowa’s transportation system.
  • System condition:An overview of each mode within the transportation system.
  • Vision: Broad statement that captures the overall vision for Iowa’s future transportation system.
  • Investment areas: Overarching areas within which actions have been defined to implement the system vision.
  • Strategies and improvement needs: Actionable information that will be utilized by the department to implement the vision.
  • Costs and revenues: An analysis of anticipated costs and revenues for each transportation mode.
  • Implementation:A discussion related to addressing funding needs, programming future investments, and continuous performance monitoring.

What changed from the last Plan?

The prior state transportation plan, adopted in 2012, focused on policy issues and not on specific, actionable items. The goal with the 2017 Plan was to provide specific strategies and improvement needs that can be implemented and revisited over time. The Plan includes some notable enhancements from the 2012 document, including the following.

  • Extensive internal and external stakeholder and public input efforts were used throughout the plan development process.
  • A multimodal action plan was developed, with specific strategies and improvement needs that can be implemented. This includes short-term, long-term, and ongoing strategies, and the targeting of potential future corridor improvement needs.
  • Performance measures were identified to help the department track and monitor performance in key areas over time.

How is the Plan used?

The Plan provides a guide to assist the department and Commission in making informed transportation investment decisions for the state. It helps provide policy direction for the types of investments the department should be making, and also identifies specific strategies and corridor-level improvements for consideration. Additionally, metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and regional planning affiliation (RPA) policy boards and technical committees may use the Plan to help capture the Iowa DOT’s perspective for their planning efforts, and to help guide their own investment decisions.

Projects programmed within the Iowa DOT’s Five-Year Program, which is approved by the Commission, logically flow from the Plan and align with its vision. In addition, more specialized plans provide further detail concerning the implementation of elements of the Plan. The Plan plays a key role in the transportation planning cycle of public policy and input, the transportation plan, the Five-Year Program, and performance monitoring.

Public policy and input
Congress outlines specific requirements and factors to be addressed in planning and programming activities. Federal and state legislation provide parameters for the administration of transportation funds. The governor, state legislature, and citizens provide statewide direction, and the Iowa Code lays out numerous program operational criteria.

Transportation plan
The Plan serves as a guide for the development of transportation policies, strategies, and improvements between now and 2045. The Plan evaluates transportation in Iowa from a system perspective, focusing on the movement of people and freight.

Five-Year Program
The Five-Year Program is a listing of specific departmental project investments and is approved by the Commission on an annual basis. Major elements include individual modal projects scheduled over the next five years, sources of funds, annual accomplishments, and criteria/eligibility of different modal funding programs.

Performance monitoring
Tracking performance assists the Iowa DOT with understanding whether investments are helping to achieve desired results for the transportation system. This naturally feeds back into the direction the department receives from the public and stakeholders regarding what is needed for the system. Performance monitoring and target setting has also become a focus in recent federal transportation legislation, and will continue to be an evolving process.

In 2018, Iowa in Motion 2045 was one of three Iowa DOT planning efforts honored by the Iowa Chapter of American Planning Association (APA-Iowa). Iowa in Motion 2045 was recognized in the Transportation Planning category.

For additional information, contact:

Andrea White
Systems Planning Bureau
Iowa Department of Transportation
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515-239-1210
Fax: 515-233-7857


Login  |  ©  Iowa Department of Transportation.  All rights reserved.