Feb 10, 2023 - News

Des Moines' $2 million Fleur median makeovers

A photo of Fleur medians.

Fleur Drive median upgrades will simplify groundskeeping tasks and help reduce lane closures. Photo: City of DSM

Fleur Drive's medians are getting a $2 million makeover, Des Moines Parks and Recreation director Ben Page tells Axios.

Why it matters: New irrigation systems will replace manual watering, reducing times when lane reduction is necessary to tend the gardens.

  • And lower-growing plants will replace taller ones near turn lanes to improve visibility.

Flashback: There are 17 garden medians in the roughly 3.5-mile stretch between Gray's Lake and the DSM International Airport.

  • Many were constructed about 20 years ago and paid for mostly by private donors.

What's happening: The median improvements are being made in conjunction with Fleur's phased reconstruction project that's expected to conclude in the fall of 2024.

  • The three most northern garden medians are already updated.
  • The rest will be completed over the next two years.

Meanwhile, landscaping will also be removed from the northeast and northwest corners of the Fleur Drive and McKinley Avenue intersection in conjunction with the median and street projects.

Of note: Donations will pay for about half of the upgrades, including $500K from the John Ruan Foundation Trust, with the city covering the rest.

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