Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) today announces more than $3.5 million in federal transportation grants for local projects, supporting more than $6 million in total project investments in the region.
UERPC is the designated Regional Planning Affiliation (RPA-1) for the northeast Iowa counties of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek. Each year, the five-county region receives federal funding for diverse transportation projects that further the goals of RPA-1’s Long-range Transportation Plan. The RPA-1 Transportation Policy Board is responsible for evaluating grant applications and deciding which projects are awarded. Funding is typically awarded four years out (2026 for this round), but some projects received funding for 2023 and 2024 during this year’s application cycle.
The grants can support a wide variety of projects. Some address needed maintenance of the rural secondary road system, such as Fayette County’s pavement overlay project on W42/Juniper Road. Others, like the Main Street/IA-9 Corridor Vision Plan for the City of Lansing, support transportation planning efforts.
Funding also supports non-motorized transportation infrastructure, such as the City of Guttenberg’s Big Springs/Mississippi River Trail Connection; continued development of the Dry Run Trail in Winneshiek County; and an extension of the Turkey River Recreational Corridor trail east of Elgin into Clayton County.
The grants are funded by the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program, and the STBG set-aside for transportation enhancements and alternatives. Continued and increased funding for these programs was enabled by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed by Congress and signed into law last year.
Through these projects, RPA-1 seeks to advance the regional transportation goals set forth in the Long-range Transportation Plan. A complete listing of projects funded through the next four years can be found in the RPA-1 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) document, available at uerpc.org/transportation.html. Additional information about UERPC and Regional Planning Affiliation 1, including the region’s Long-range Transportation Plan, “Safe Mobility for Everyone,” can also be found at the link above.