Iowa DOT Releases I-80 Study Results

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9)-- A study from the Iowa DOT says traffic could increase on this interstate across the state by 50 percent by 2040. With that in mind, the recently released study looked at several options to improve the road's conditions.

One thing the report said was adding three tolls could help cover costs to rebuild the interstate.

Today on TV9's Facebook page, hundreds of people discussed the possibility of the Iowa DOT adding tolls to Interstate 80.

This afternoon, officials from DOT say the agency will not consider adding these tolls. But there are other options to increase the road's safety.

Drivers who use Interstate 80 daily know what to expect during their commutes.

"A lot of slow people," Mitchell Adney said.

Even drivers from outside the region notice similar traffic patterns on this stretch of road.

"We have relatives in Des Moines and relatives farther west," Joe Gross said.

Part of that congestion is due to semis. The Iowa DOT recognizes Interstate 80 sees a high number of semis. So, it's considering a plan to have a lane designated just for those large trucks.

"I think you could get to where you want to go without the obstructions that you have with all those trucks on the road," Gross said. "Probably one lane designated for trucks would be nice."

That's not the only option.

Other ideas include lowering the speed limit, just for semi drivers.

Another option includes making the entire interstate six lanes, so adding a lane in each direction.

With the hope of making this interstate safer. The DOT says the number of crashes is expected to increase along with the flow of traffic. Which is something these drivers in this area say already happen too often.

These plans are very preliminary. The Iowa DOT would need approval from lawmakers first, as some projects could cost billions of dollars. And if approved, construction would likely continue until 2040.

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