Online public input tool going strong to keep projects moving

AdobeStock_335501114At the Iowa Department of Transportation, we want to hear what you think about roadway and bridge projects that might impact you, whether they are in the planning phase, under construction, or recently been constructed. To more easily gain this input, we’ve been using an online public meeting system for the past few years. Little did we know that tool would become invaluable in the age of COVID.  Being able to work through the public input process in a safe, online information portal keeps the work we do for you moving along without a hitch, even in a global pandemic.

Jon Rees of our public involvement section said, “Our online tool has been great during the pandemic, allowing us to reach out to stakeholders virtually to inform them on our projects and request public input.  It is easy and convenient for users who have access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone.”

Over the years, our online public involvement tool has increased the amount of input we get into transportation projects and helped us reduce our manual processes and improve the consistency of our data collection. The tool is an interactive, electronic way to manage stakeholder outreach and improve project decision-making.

The tool has four primary components:

  • Managing responses
  • Gathering stakeholder contact information and sharing project info with stakeholders

PIMA screen shot

Management of in-person meetings (on hold during COVID) and online meetings (all of our meetings have moved to an online format this past year)

  • Analyzing information input into the system

The number of people using the portal to make sure their opinions are heard is increasing. In 2020, there were more than 2,700 views.  We have received 3,115 comments.  You can access the public portal here:

PIMA update 1

The versatility of the portal is also a benefit we’ve seen since we introduced it. There have been 112 public events for projects both in-person (pre-pandemic) and virtual.  Even though the majority of our public input has been online since the pandemic, Rees said a few tried-and-true methods are also used. He said, “We try to reach as many people as we can electronically, but we do still utilize newspaper ads and mailed letters to stakeholders to make sure we’re being as inclusive as possible.”

In Iowa City at the corner of highway 6 and Morman Trek South Bound turning North from highway 6 onto Morman Trek there Needs to be a LONGER Right turn lane Traffic gets Backed Up.

What's happening with a resurface of California Ave - the link from the east side of Mason City to the Avenue. It is a highly traveled route by car, truck, and 18-wheeler vehicles and it shows this amount of use!!!
Also, it is seldom cleared early in the day of snow or ice - in particular on Sunday mornings - is it possible to get it done sooner?
Thank you for your response!

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