5500 Westown Parkway, Suite 190
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

515-244-0779

News Releases

  • County Innovation: Vibratory pile driving
  • October 09,2017

Iowa’s Secondary Roads network contains around 18,500 bridges, and nearly one in four needs to be replaced in the near future.   Rebuilding shorter structures can be significantly more expensive, on a per square foot basis, than larger ones because contractor mobilization costs don’t vary in proportion with bridge size.   To keep such costs down, county road departments often maintain their own bridge crews to do part or all of the work on short structures.

But a number of issues have converged to make it harder for counties to drive their own piling, a necessary first step for every structure.  Crane replacement costs have risen beyond what local governments can afford; safety requirements mandate extensive operator training and the equipment cannot be easily transported.   This motivated several Iowa Counties to seek out and implement a new method for installing piles: via use of a vibratory pile driver.    READ MORE

  • GPS Navigation Pitfalls
  • May 16,2017

As more drivers use GPS based navigation aids to travel from point of departure to their destination, they sometimes rely too uncritically on what the devices tell them to do. 

Iowa’s County Engineers remind rural travelers to always pay attention to the character and condition of the roads and bridges that the navigation software tells them to use.   Computers see all roads as equally usable, regardless of surface type and aren’t aware if a bridge is posted or a road is closed.   This can lead to extra travel, a need for roadside assistance or even the loss of a bridge.
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  • Buchanan County Conducts Open House on innovative Bridges
  • March 24,2017

On Feb 7, 2017,  Buchanan County Engineer  Brian Keierleber, hosted delegations of road officials from the Federal Highway Administration, Iowa DOT,  Illinois DOT and Peoria County, Illinois, who came to see innovative bridge design, materials and construction methods that his county has used.   Buchanan County has been a consistent leader, over two decades, in trying out new forms of bridge construction.
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  • UTILIZATION OF INCREASED RUTF REVENUES BY IOWA COUNTIES
  • January 09,2017

The Iowa Legislature approved a 10 cent per gallon fuel tax increase in 2015, effective March 1 of that year. This resulted in a major, one-time increase in Road Use Tax Fund (RUTF) revenues for the State’s road agencies. Secondary road and farm-to-market allocations to counties increased by about $90 Million dollars per year.

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  • IOWA GRANULAR SURFACED COUNTY ROADS
  • January 09,2017

Rural Iowa is laced with thousands of miles of granular surfaced roads, laid out in a square mile grid. Out of the 89,000 miles of county roads, around 66,000 miles are rock or gravel surfaced. These routes typically carry 25 to 100 vehicles per day.

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  • MAINTAINING IOWA'S RURAL BRIDGES IS A LARGE SCALE OPERATION
  • January 09,2017

Iowa’s 89,637 miles county road system contains over 18,600 bridges. This means that, on average, any trip of five miles or more will likely cross a bridge before arriving at the destination. Thus the health and capacity of secondary road structures is very important to the rural economy.

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  • STOPS SIGNS NOT ALWAYS THE ANSWER TO STOPPING CRASHES AT RURAL INTERSECTIONS
  • January 26,2016

A number of serious traffic crashes have occurred recently at rural uncontrolled intersections on lesser-traveled gravel roads in Iowa. On the surface, installing stop or yield signs at all rural intersections may seem to provide greater protection to the traveling public. However, a vast majority of drivers on lesser-traveled gravel roads are local drivers who travel these same roads at least once per week. They know which intersections have stop signs, yield signs, or no signs. Over regulating traffic can result in drivers ignoring critical signage where it is essential, leading to the possibility of more crashes. Installing many non-essential signs can lead to a less safe system overall, providing a false sense of security with drivers not stopping or recognizing the potential for conflict at the intersection.

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  • IOWA COUNTY BRIDGE INNOVATIONS
  • January 09,2017

Iowa County Engineers are always looking for better ways to rebuild bridges faster, more economically, and reliably. They need to replace 300 structures per year in order to keep overall serviceability stable and minimize the need for load postings.

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  • KEIERLEBER ELECTED NACE OFFICER
  • April 26,2015

Buchanan County Engineer Brian Keierleber has been elected secretary/treasurer of the National Association of County Engineers (NACE). The election was held during NACE’s annual convention.

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