West Des Moines Begins Work On Raccoon River Ped Bridge

Photo: City of West Des Moines

(West Des Moines, IA) -- Work is getting underway on a multi-million dollar Athene Pedestrian Bridge over the Raccoon River in West Des Moines. The bridge will connect Raccoon River Park to Walnut Woods State Park, Brown’s Woods, Purple Martin Lake Water Recreation Area, Hidden Valley Soccer Complex and dozens of miles of future greenway trails. The bridge is expected to open in the fall of 2024.

• The project will include approximately 1.2 miles of paved trail from the Raccoon River Park entrance to the Hidden Valley Soccer Complex entrance along Walnut Woods Drive (SW 52nd Avenue).

• The truss bridge will be 620 linear feet long with an additional 345 linear feet of elevated ramp in Walnut Woods State Park. With the construction of the bridge, the existing granular trail around Blue Heron Lake is to remain intact but will have a short 775-foot section repositioned to accommodate the earth berm trail up to the bridge. Total estimated construction cost is $9.3 million.

• Approximately $2.75 million of the total estimated construction cost was raised from private donations, including a $750,000 donation from Athene that was announced in June 2022.

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