Iowa sits in the center of a seven-state market of nearly one million businesses and thirty-six million people. With three Interstate highways (I-35, I-80 and I-29) and nearly 4,000 miles of rail freight track, statewide airport coverage and 60 barge terminals that ship and receive. Iowa provides efficient and cost-effective transportation choices.

HighwayIowa Highway Map

Interstate 80 spanning from New York to California, and Interstate 35 spanning from Canada to Mexico intersect in the middle of Iowa. Interstate 29 serves a direct route to Kansas City and the Canadian border, while Interstate 90 serves a direct route to the Pacific Northwest. The Avenue of the Saints, IA-27, provides a 4-lane direct route from St. Paul, Minnesota, to St. Louis, Missouri.

Iowa Highway Map

RiverIowa Rivers

  • Iowa has 491 miles of navigable river bordering its state, and it is the only state in the nation bordered by two navigable rivers.
  • The state of Iowa borders 312 miles of the upper Mississippi River. This area is a vital segment of the Inland Waterway System, providing an economic transportation link from the upper Midwest to the lower Mississippi Valley and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • There are 11 navigation locks and dams on the Mississippi River bordering Iowa. 
  • There were 60 barge terminals in Iowa that shipped and received tonnage in 2012 (55 on the Mississippi River and five on the Missouri River).
  • In 2012, 9.4 million tons of commodities (mostly agriculture-related products) moved to and from Iowa on the waterway system. Grain comprised the largest quantity of this tonnage, totaling 57 percent overall. Other agriculture products were the second largest, totaling 28 percent of the tonnage.

More on Iowa's Waterway System


Iowa's 3,851 mile freight transportation system includes an extensive railroad network. While Rail Maprail accounts for only 3 percent of the freight network, it carries 37 percent of Iowa's freight tonnage. A great variety of commodities ranging from fresh food to textiles to optical products are moved by rail. The railroad network performs an important role in moving bulk commodities produced and consumed in the state to local processors, livestock feeders, river terminals and ports for foreign export.

More on Iowa's Rail System


Iowa has eight commercial service and 99 general aviation airports that are publicly owned. An Iowa Airportsadditional eight privately-owned airports are open for public use.

Aviation is an integral part of Iowa’s economy and way of life. Air transportation provides needed connectivity and moves people and goods to their destinations quickly and efficiently. In 2011, more than 175 million pounds of cargo were transported through Iowa's airports. Iowa generates 2.5 million commercial airline passenger boardings each year. Nearly 60 percent of the boardings are associated with business travel, while the remainder are attributed to vacation and personal travel.

View Iowa's Commercial Airports