Mar 8, 2022 - News

Des Moines to review $72 million street reconfiguration plan

A photo of George Flagg Parkway in Des Moines.
George Flagg Parkway would be connected with Bell Avenue and elevated above a flood plain. Photo: Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via Imagn Content Services

George Flagg Parkway would be realigned, connected with Bell Avenue and elevated to help avoid perennial flooding of the roadway under a $72 million set of recommendations to be presented to a city committee Tuesday.

Why it matters: If adopted, the recommendations will have significant influence on future development across Des Moines' southwest side.

  • It's part of more than three dozen recommendations from a study that was initiated by the city and completed last month.

Catch up fast: Des Moines scrapped a $215 million plan, known as the Southwest Connector, to construct a five-lane highway from West Des Moines to downtown in 2018. The city said the traffic volume didn't justify the cost.

  • The city commissioned a study two years later to evaluate existing infrastructure and develop plans for future roadway network improvements.

What they found: Researchers recommended the following changes:

  • Adding a roundabout intersection at the parkway and Park Avenue with new connections to the Greater Western Trail to improve safety.
  • Constructing a new street west of the airport to support future commercial and industrial development.

What's next: The recommendations are being prioritized by city staff to be included in Des Moines' long-term Capital Improvement Program, which requires City Council approval.

  • The transportation committee is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to approve the general recommendations linked with street typology.
Data: City of Des Moines; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios
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