Iowa LTAP has moved from CTRE to the Institute for Transportation

Better Mousetraps: Winning innovations for road maintenance and repair

Each year at the Iowa Maintenance Expo, six winning "mousetraps" are chosen in the "Better Mousetrap" competition. The purpose of the competition is to recognize the tools, equipment modifications, and systems that transportation personnel have created to make their jobs easier, safer, and less costly. Winners have their mousetrap idea published in the Iowa LTAP newsletter Technology News. They also receive a certificate of recognition and $100.

Mousetrap judges

Judging the 2005 mousetrap competition.

Man explains plow mounting procedure change

Explaining the plow mounting procedure change

Judging criteria

The "mousetraps" are judged according to the following criteria:

2007 winners**



Honorable mentions


No entries were received for the competition in 2004.

2003 winners



Honorable mentions

2001 winners


The Better Mousetraps submitted by Iowa DOT personnel have not been officially approved by the Iowa DOT and will undergo further testing and evaluation before consideration is made for statewide implementation.


Duane Smith, Associate Director for Outreach, can answer questions about the competition. Contact him at 515-294-8103 or A call for entries will be issued again this year.

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Last updated: May 23, 2008


Contact Iowa LTAP
2711 S. Loop Drive, Suite 4700
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515-294-8103
FAX: 515-294-0467