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Des Moines City Leaders Approve First Step Towards Completing Last Segment of SE Connector

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines city leaders have approved the first step in completing the last segment of the Southeast Connector.

The city engineer says the first phase of the project broke ground back in 2006.

Monday, the city approved a nearly $1 million agreement, it’s the first step in completing the last segment.

“This supplemental agreement will give more information on the last segment of the southeast connector from Southeast 30th out to U.S. 65," Des Moines City Engineer Steve Naber said.

So far, the connector is complete from MLK to Southeast 30th, the preliminary design for the last segment would connect southeast 30th to U.S. 65 in Pleasant Hill.

"A preliminary design has already been completed which establishes the alignment of the roadway this agreement will allow us to come up with a detailed design with elevation," Naber said.

The city says, the preliminary design of the new segment is expected to cost millions.

“The total project cost is estimated cost with the 4-lane divided highway is estimated at $75 million but we are proposing to build half of the road way. We are proposing a two lane that would cost $48 million,” Naber said.

The two-lane highway proposal would look like other parts of the project, like on a stretch of MLK and Southeast 30th Street.

But city leaders say that proposal depends on federal funding.

“If we are not able to secure the federal money to do that it could be years before we, and we have to get the property before we can apply for the federal grants," Des Moines Council member Joe Gatto said.

To date, the city says the project has cost more than $100 million.

The project is scheduled to be complete by 2023, and two lane highways will be widened to four as needed.