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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

$10 Million Commerce Department Investment to Keep Businesses Running and People Working in Louisa County, Iowa

WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $10 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to Louisa County, Iowa, to help rebuild the Oakville Bridge and assure businesses that vital transportation routes will remain open in the event of future severe weather events.

"The 2008 floods severely impacted infrastructure in Iowa," Locke said. "This EDA grant will ensure that an important link for regional commerce remains open during future floods, letting businesses continue to operate and workers continue to work."

"These funds will not only create good paying jobs immediately, but also will spur economic development in the region for years to come," said U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack. "Oakville has shown a steadfast commitment to flood recovery and response and these funds will help the community recover stronger and better than before."

This EDA grant will assist with the replacement of the Oakville Bridge, an important arterial link for regional commerce. The current bridge sustained extensive damage during flood events in 2008. The completed project will improve the regional transportation system and ensure continued access to transportation routes for area businesses and their products, ensuring that businesses remain in the area.

Since the 2008 floods, EDA has invested more than $100 million in Iowa to advance rebuilding efforts across the state.

In April, Locke visited Iowa City to announce $30 million in EDA grants to, among other things, work to relocate out of the floodplain a water treatment facility in Columbus Junction that is vital to business growth and retention and make roadway infrastructure improvements in Iowa City to make certain that major transportation and supply chain routes remain open during future flood events. That same month, EDA announced the largest single investment the agency has ever made - $35 million to the city of Cedar Rapids to assist with the construction of the new downtown events center. The events center will be a catalyst for bringing more people and businesses into the center of the city, which in turn will create more demand for residential development, retail establishments and services.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov): This year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) marks 45 years of public service, with a mission of leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster job creation, collaboration and innovation.