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Another $20M coming to The Eastern Iowa Airport terminal upgrade project
Project received nearly $49M in federal funding this year
DES MOINES — A project to expand and update the passenger terminal at The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids is set to receive another $20.4 million in federal funding, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Thursday.
That makes a total of nearly $49 million in federal funding dedicated this year to the airport project. The latest batch of funding comes from the federal infrastructure law and is part of $1 billion that is being awarded to 85 airports across the country, federal officials said.
“We are extremely pleased with this announcement,” Eastern Iowa Airport director Marty Lenss said in a statement. “The funding will support the airport’s final phase of the terminal modernization program. Once complete, the airport terminal will be positioned for growth for many years to come.”
In Iowa, five projects received funding under the infrastructure law. In addition to The Eastern Iowa Airport, the federal government awarded:
- $5 million to a new terminal project at the Des Moines International Airport.
- $1.3 million to a solar power system at Dubuque Regional Airport.
- $130,000 to a solar power system at Washington Municipal Airport.
- $112,500 for an elevator in aviation terminal at Council Bluffs Municipal Airport.
“Iowa’s regional airports support all kinds of economic activity, from transporting goods to providing Iowans with connections to various destinations across the country. It’s critical that we keep our airport infrastructure up to date to maintain a resilient supply chain and a healthy economy,” U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican, said in a statement. “I supported the bipartisan infrastructure law to invest in Iowans and Iowa’s economy, and I’m glad to see our state is continuing to benefit from this investment.”
Eastern Iowa Airport officials said the terminal upgrades will include additional jet bridges, expanded concourse space, more concessions and amenities and a continued transition to a geothermal ventilation system. The airport said it has spent about $55 million so far on terminal improvements. The latest improvements are scheduled to begin in the spring 2023, it said.
“(The new federal funding) is going to help (airports) meet future demand. It’s going to help keep air travel more accessible and more efficient,” Buttigieg said during a conference call with reporters. “We know that airports are gateways to America’s communities.”
Earlier this year, $28.4 million in federal funding was pledged to The Eastern Iowa Airport’s terminal project through a new state aviation infrastructure program that was created with federal pandemic relief funding.
At the time, airport officials said that award would be sufficient to fund the fourth phase of the terminal project, which was estimated at $50 million. In the months since, an airport spokeswoman said, cost estimates have increased to roughly $65 million.
The newly announced $20.4 million in federal funding will help the airport cover those cost increases and ensure the project can proceed in full, the spokeswoman said.
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