RAGBRAI riders are arriving at Water Works Park in Des Moines after setting off from Perry Tuesday morning.
That means people who live in West Des Moines and Des Moines can expect some delays and road closures.
Valley Junction in West Des Moines is bracing for a big crowd Tuesday. In fact, the director of the Historic Valley Junction Foundation, Jim Miller, says it’s the biggest crowd ever.
“We have large events, but for one single day, if we’re talking 20,000 to 35,000 people through here, it’s the most people we’ve ever had here at one time,” says Miller.
Those big crowds mean street closures and delays in the area.
Bikes will come into West Des Moines on Raccoon River Drive under the interstate and then connect with Grand Avenue.
The northbound off ramp from I-35 to eastbound Grand Avenue will be closed to traffic. It is recommended drivers take the Mills Civic exit off I-35 to get around the area.
From Grand, riders will turn east onto Railroad Avenue. They will also take a two block detour down Fifth Street to Elm and then back to Railroad on Fourth Street.
The city of West Des Moines says Railroad will be closed from 1st to 8th streets for most of the day.
In Valley Junction the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of 5th will also be closed for a street party.
The last leg through West Des Moines will take riders down Railroad to 1st Street and south on 1st Street to Park Avenue.
Riders will head east on Park Avenue into Water Works Park in Des Moines.
The city of Des Moines says it’s ready for riders
“We, like other departments, want these riders to have an enjoyable and safe trip through the city. To do that we’ve inspected, patched and now are finishing up sweeping of the streets along the route. In addition to that, the department has delivered barricades throughout the city to critical points that are going to be needed for traffic control and crowd control as part of this overall program,” says Des Moines Public Works director, Pat Kozitza.
There are some road closures in Des Moines. The Court and Walnut street bridges are closed, that’s where the RAGBRAI events village is set up. You can find more information about the downtown RAGBRAI events and concerts here.
Then Wednesday, Dean Avenue, where riders exit the fairgrounds will be closed.
MLK eastbound from Fleur will also be closed for a bit.
The other roads along the route are expected to open and close at intervals to allow bike and vehicle traffic to keep moving.