National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse

In recent years, the federal government has allocated roughly $6.5$8.8 million annually to Iowa to build transportation enhancement projects. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), Trees Forever, and Iowa State University (ISU) Landscape Architecture Extension have created the Community Visioning Program to help rural communities plan these enhancements using state funds administered by the Iowa DOT.

Communities that are interested in making enhancements connected to surface transportation may benefit from the Visioning Program. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines surface transportation as all elements of the intermodal transportation system excluding aviation and including water. To qualify for federal funding, enhancements must meet one of the following principles:

  • Provision of facilities for pedestrians and bicycles

  • Provision of safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists

  • Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites

  • Landscaping and other scenic beautification

  • Historic preservation

  • Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures or facilities

  • Preservation of abandoned railway corridors (including conversion and use of the corridors for trails)

  • Inventory, control and removal of outdoor advertising

  • Archeological planning and research

  • Environmental mitigation to address water pollution due to highway runoff or reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality while maintaining habitat connectivity

  • Establishment of transportation museums

More information about federally-funded transportation enhancements can be found at the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse Web site at