This is Why Des Moines Doesn’t Make Changes to Fleur Drive to Stop it from Flooding

Fleur flooding (Courtesy: Des Moines Public Works)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Have you ever wondered why the city of Des Moines doesn’t raise Fleur Drive up, above the flood plain, to avoid closures to the crucial main traffic artery due to flooding?

It’s not uncommon for the road to close when the Raccoon River floods near Fleur Drive, like it did earlier this month. Des Moines Public Works gets asked about why changes aren’t made to Fleur often-enough, it is offering up a public answer.

Des Moines Public Works responded to why the city of Des Moines doesn’t simply raise the road up to keep it high and dry with a Facebook post and a diagram Monday night.

According to the post, when the Raccoon River floods, the water flows across Fleur from west to east. A raised Fleur Drive would cut off the flow of water and concentrate it at the MLK Bridge, causing the water to back up in a way that would increase the threat of flooding for Des Moines Water Works and the businesses and residences in that area.

Public Works says the only real option would be to turn Fleur, from MLK Jr. Parkway to Bell Avenue, into a bridge. They say the price tag on that project – which would have to be 3,350 feet long – would be far too high and not the best value for the city.

As an example, Public Works says the new Grand Avenue Bridge over the Des Moines River cost $9 million and is only 550 feet long.

They say the best option is just to close Fleur Drive from time to time, when flooding occurs.

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