WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- There’s always a talk a lot about the bridges of Madison County, but now there is a lot of talk about a bridge *to Madison County.
Creating a bridge connecting Dallas County over the Raccoon River to Madison County has been a thought since the early '90s.
It's taken until now for plans to be put into action. This project means a lot for development south of the Raccoon River, developers say it's going to be a catalyst of expansion for years to come.
“It is the real future of West Des Moines as far as urbanized areas. If they go north or west they’re blocked by Clive or Waukee but this area is wide open and has always been part of the plan for West Des Moines” said Knapp Properties CEO Gerry Neugent.
Now a partnership between Knapp Properties and the City will mean southward expansion. A bridge that starts at highway F-90 and jumps the Raccoon River into Madison County is now under construction. It also connects to around 1900 acres of Knapp owned property prime for development, but currently without easy access.
“We used to tell people that you could be standing 1000 yards from some of our property on highway F-90 sitting in Dallas County and to get to it you’d have to go back into Polk, down into Warren, into Madison and back to Dallas County to get to it” said Neugent.
But Knapp isn't the only ones looking to benefit from the newly accessible land, Madison County Development Group Director Tom Leners says Madison county has between four and five thousand acres in that area that they'd like to develop.
“It builds our tax base, I mean the rising tide that way lifts all ships and so it helps spread the load out for all the amenities that we’ve been maintaining in the county here” said Leners.
In the future, the plan is to connect highway F-90 to Grand Prairie Parkway, making it far easier to get to the metro.
“Polk County is where a lot of the jobs are and so a lot of our citizens now, and we have an increasing population, a lot of our citizens commute to West Des Moines and Des Moines” said Leners.
The bridge and the road to the Dallas County border will be finished in September of 2018 with a 400 acre environmental easement.
It's expected that early use of the newly unlocked property will be residential with a focus on executive level housing. As more infrastructure comes in it's expected to see mixed use development.