DES MOINES, Iowa -- Thursday, city officials are breaking ground on phase one of the 6th Avenue Corridor Streetscape project. The 1.2-mile total project will invest around $8 million into this historic Northside corridor. It will be done in three phases.
Phase one will focus on 6th Avenue between Hickman Avenue south through College Avenue. Phases two and three will complete the project south to Interstate 235.
In an effort to focus less on the cars and more on the community of the corridor, the project will reduce the five-lane road down to three lanes in an effort to calm traffic and create a safer space for pedestrians. That is why they are also widening the sidewalks along the road. There is currently parking on both sides of 6th Avenue but the executive director says it is not always being utilized. The wider sidewalks will also serve as a space for bikers.
“On the west side of Sixth Avenue, a multi-use path will be along that side, and so you’ll have about eight feet for bicycles and about five feet for pedestrians, the paving will be different, the color of the paving will be different so that people can be distinguished, this is bicycle space and this is pedestrian space,” 6th Ave Corridor Executive Director Breann Bye said.
There is currently parking on both sides of 6th Avenue but the executive director says it is not always being utilized.
“That’s also a travel lane and so we get rear ended, we have a number of vehicles getting rear ended and that can be a struggle for our businesses who are seeking customers and want them to have convenient places to park. So, with this project, we’ll move from a travel lane and parking lane on either side, to dedicated parking on one side of the corridor,” Bye said.
All three phases of this project should be completed in the next three years. The public is invited to attend a groundbreaking ceremony February 28th at 11:30 A.M. at 1714 6th Avenue with a reception in the Apartments of Prairie Trace right after.