New Des Moines water trail could mean goodbye to century-old bridge
A more than century-old bridge that links some of the metro's busiest trail systems near downtown could be replaced as part of a larger water recreational plan, Sam Carrell, executive director of the DSM Water Works Park Foundation, told Axios this week.
What's happening: "The Circuit" plan would connect multiple Water Works ponds through channels, running parallel to the Raccoon River and George Flagg Parkway.
- Bridge replacement or a major revision to the structure is necessary to realign road and trail systems.
Why it matters: The plan would allow users to paddle throughout the park while simultaneously boosting clean water efforts.
Plus: The bridge's remaining lifespan is estimated at less than five years.
- Planning is underway to avoid a possible collapse — like what happened in 2019 to Johnston's Trestle Trail Bridge, where a trail remains closed.
Catch up fast: The foundation behind the project is a nonprofit created in 2013 to improve the 1,500-acre public park without increasing water rates.
- A $13 million phase that includes playgrounds, art and the Lauridsen Amphitheater is wrapping up. The Circuit is in the next phase.
What's next: Fundraising and further planning. The bridge will likely cost between $2 million and $7 million, depending on design.
- Construction is likely several years out, Carrell said.
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