Water Works Park Amphitheater Still Expected to Open on Schedule

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Metro construction crews are working hard to finish several projects in the limited dry moments they’ve had this month.

Since groundbreaking, Water Works Park Amphitheater construction crews have lost about a month and a half of workable days due to rain and snow, but even with the setback leaders say they’ll be ready for their first events in June.

“We should still be ready for the show. As you can see here we are in a pretty large flood event but we built this on the highest ground in the park,” Water Works Park Foundation Executive Director Sam Carrell said.

Carrell said they kept the flood possibility in mind at every stage of the process including in their design of the restrooms.

“So this will be filled in up to the base of these doors and they’re created so that when flood water does come through it allows it to flow through rather than putting a lot of pressure on the building,” Carrell said.

The Ruan Connector Tunnel, set to go underneath Fleur Drive, is also experiencing delays due to flooding near Gray’s Lake. Right now crews are trying to relocate utility pipes and lines.

“The major elements of the tunnel are actually constructed off site. They are pre-fabricated so that when they are finished with utilities and they’re out of the way they’re able to actually go in and put those in almost like you would a simple Tonka or Tinker Toys. It’s a really thought out process,” Carrell said.

While these projects are going on Des Moines Public Works closed the remaining two lanes of Fleur Drive not affected by the reconstruction project. Rainy days aren’t helping those crews either.

“I would say what’s hurting us more is the frequency of the rain events that we are getting in general. We haven’t had a lot of long periods without rain so that’s hindering us a little, but our contractor is still making progress and they’re installing the water main right now around Bell Avenue,” Des Moines City Engineer Steve Naber said.

The entire reconstruction project on Fleur Drive is expected to take about four years.

City officials hope to re-open the portion of Fleur Drive affected by flooding very soon.

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