Record Iowa Corn Harvest Increases Railroad Traffic
2021 saw record yields in corn for Iowa and, with all that corn means a greater need for rail line traffic.
Iowa DOT Director Scott Marler spoke in a briefing Thursday to the Iowa House Transportation Committee. In an article by Radio Iowa, he said
The carloads of grain in 2021 were the most since 2008. This is mostly due to the high volumes that were being exported. That’s a great spot for our state here in Iowa.
This uptick in railroad traffic is not just in Iowa.
At the beginning of the pandemic, travel on Iowa streets and highways dropped over 40 percent.
Our traffic levels are pretty much back to pre-pandemic levels, but they’re different than what they used to be… In our cities and urban areas, we’re still seeing a slightly depressed amount of traffic volumes. We think this might be one of the trends from teleworking that we hear about. In our rural areas, by contrast, our traffic levels are actually a little higher than pre-pandemic levels.
These higher levels of traffic, Marler says, are likely due to a high volume of trucks carrying freight on Iowa highway and interstates.
Back in Iowa airports, passenger traffic for commercial flights dropped significantly during the first year of the pandemic. Now we are seeing the traffic coming back.
We’re not back to pre-pandemic levels with passenger counts at our eight commercial service airports, but we’re close- within about 10-15% of pre-pandemic levels.
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