DES MOINES, Iowa -- Construction crews have made a lot of progress on the Fleur Drive Reconstruction Project and the tunnel underneath, the Ruan Connector, which will connect Water Works Park to Gray's Lake Park.
Des Moines City Engineer Steve Naber said they were able to open up all four lanes of traffic near Gray's Lake Park Thursday.
Naber said the main structural work of the Ruan Connector is now complete.
“We anticipate that they’ll finish the masonry work for the veneer on the wing walls and the landscaping and flat work next spring. We are still on track to be completed before summer of 2020,” Naber said.
Naber said Phase One of the Fleur Drive Reconstruction Project is also coming along well. It includes full reconstruction of the northbound lanes from Watrous Avenue to Bell Avenue.
“We are actually complete with the road reconstruction and the water mains north of Park Avenue. So, next spring we will resuming work mostly south of Park Avenue, and that project is on track to be completed by fall of 2020,” Naber said.
Even though many people know the road work will be worth it in the end, it has caused headaches for residents and even DART bus drivers.
“The worst is during rush hour when we are trying to get kids to school, trying to get people to work and those are times when it can be even ten minutes delayed, and that can really impact somebody’s day,” DART Planning Manager Luis Montoya said.
In addition to reconstructing the road, crews are putting in sidewalks on both sides of Fleur Drive, which is something DART said is essential for their riders and the safety of all people.
“The sidewalks are really important because sometimes if people can’t make their way along the edge of the road, they might actually walk out into the road, which is really dangerous. The other thing is that adding sidewalks allows the addition of curb ramps and designated crossings for pedestrians, which will really improve safety,” Montoya said.