Des Moines Unveils $427 Million Spending Plan for City Streets

DES MOINES, Iowa - The city of Des Moines has unveiled a $427 million plan to improve city streets over the next seven years.

City engineer Stave Nabor says the project will end up benefiting every type of travel in Des Moines. "It's the city's vision to include a complete transportation system that's safe, most importantly, and efficient infrastructure for walking, biking, mass transit and automobiles," said Nabor. "So it's all users."

It calls for $61 million to be spent annually on road work, which is double the current yearly average of $30 million. That expenditure would peak in 2023 at $92 million.

Des Moines Public Works Director Jonathon Gano says the plan is biggest comprehensive road project in the city's history. "The next several years worth of investment in road construction, reconstruction and new construction, and rehabilitation is the single largest chuck of change that the city has dropped into roadway investment that we've seen in the financial records dating back decades and decades," said Gano.

He adds that the time has come to deal with the city's crumbling streets. "We've done yeoman's work extending the life of those existing assets for decades and decades, but they're approaching the end of their life cycle," Gano said.

The city council still has to approve the spending plan, and will take up the issue March 23rd.

Much of the financing for the project would be done through issuing bonds, which the city contends is a smart move when interest rates are at their current low levels.

(Gano and Nabor were guests on the Jeff Angelo Show on WHO Radio)

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