Iowa DOT Office Director Craig Markley visited with Lee County industries to discuss the future of Iowa’s freight initiatives and Freight Optimization Model. Markley reviewed how having a safe, efficient, and reliable freight transportation network is essential for the future economic health of the state.
Freight Optimization can help the state identify and solve freight bottle necks in any mode. It can also help specific industries identify efficiencies in freight movements or supply chains. Improvements to our freight system will lower costs for users and make Iowa more attractive in a highly competitive market for jobs and industry.
Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission (SEIRPC) is working with the city of Fort Madison to remove the weight/size limit on the Fort Madison Mississippi River bridge. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) owns the bridge and allows vehicular traffic, even though it is not technically a public road.
SEIRPC has arranged for federal funds to pay for 80% of a bridge study. The study will create alternatives to remove the weight/size embargo. Eventually, the Southeast Iowa Regional and Economic Port Authority (SIREPA) could play a role in financing improvements that would allow fully loaded trucks to cross the bridge.