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NOTEBOOK: DOT: 10-lane I-80 too much; six lanes OK


The Iowa Department of Transportation spent some time mulling the addition of four truck lanes down the middle of Interstate Highway 80, which also would offer six lanes for general traffic in each direction — up from the current four.
As part of a massive study of the future of I-80, (bit.ly/2FDKK5K) Iowa Department of Transportation engineers looked at the benefits and costs of basically building a four-lane, specially fortified, trucks-only highway in the middle of the new incarnation of I-80. In the end, they choked on the price tag of $5.9 billion in 2016 dollars. They figured out that even if the DOT spent every dime it had for statewide construction on that one project, it would take more than 65 years to complete. So, as the study continues, the chatter is more centered on making I-80 six lanes across the state, which would cost $2.9 billion.

The DOT, led by Mark Lowe, also looked at banning trucks from the fast lane, or having a trucks-only lane on the six-lane version, but ended up recommending that the regulations be left as is, with all lanes open to all vehicles. The six lanes would allow restrictions to be added if necessary, they noted.

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