Sep 23, 2022 - News

Des Moines' Court Avenue will lose some lanes under reconstruction

A photo of Court Avenue in Des Moines.

Photo courtesy of the city of Des Moines

Des Moines' East Court Avenue will be reconstructed from the DSM River to East 14th Street as part of a two-year, nearly $33 million project that starts next spring.

Why it matters: It's the start of big changes for one of downtown's most prominent streets.

  • There will be lane reductions and the speed limit will be permanently lowered by five miles-per-hour in most sections.

Catch up fast: DSM conducted a walkability study in 2016 that resulted in setting goals to make the city more pedestrian friendly.

  • The timing of East Court Avenue's changes are prompted by pavement conditions that warrant full reconstruction, city engineer Steve Naber said during a public forum last year.

Plus: The work comes just ahead of expected growth along the avenue.

  • The redevelopment of an industrial area into what will be known as the Market District will add thousands of housing units.

Details: The new street configuration will generally narrow traffic to one lane in each direction with buffered bike lanes.

  • Concrete bump-outs constructed at intersections will shadow parking spots and shorten pedestrian crossing distances.

Driving the news: The DSM City Council authorized city staffers last week to proceed with obtaining temporary easements for the project.

  • Construction will take place in two phases and conclude in the fall of 2024.

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