After several bumps in the road, it appears a big metro project is finally underway.
The City of Waukee broke ground on the Alice’s Road Corridor, Friday. It will stretch from University Avenue in Waukee to Ashworth Road in West Des Moines and eventually the I-80 interchange.
City leaders say the road is the future of Waukee, but Alice’s Road also has a past.
People don’t usually feel nostalgic about a road but this one is named for a woman who made her mark here more than half a century ago.
“We`ve had a long history with Alice’s and I used to bus tables when I was a kid also.”
Bruno Andreini worked for Alice Nezzi at Alice’s spaghetti land in Waukee when it opened in 1949. It was a “mom and pop” Italian restaurant on the towns’ barren north side. The restaurant sat on a dirt road, the same one now named after Alice.
Waukee mayor, Bill Peard, says Alice’s Road is paved with opportunity.
“It’s huge! It`s the biggest economic development project in the state of Iowa right now.”
He says the interchange will create a surge in economic growth bringing 25,000 new jobs, 17,000 people will occupy new homes, costing the cities of Waukee and West Des Moines $65-million.
Peard also says the road extension will make Waukee more easily accessible for commuters using its two main roads: Hickman Road and University Avenue.
Andreini says Alice’s Spaghetti Land attracted people from all around Des Moines, so the growth and changing coming to her road is fitting.
“I’m just thrilled to have Alice’s Road named after Alice she would be very proud of that.”
The city says it hopes to bring insurance companies like Aviva along with hotels, and retail stores to the area. The mayor says businesses are already looking at the property.