News Flash


Posted on: November 22, 2023

Major Segment of WRA Ingersoll Run Sewer Separation Project Nears Completion

Aerial view of downtown near intersection of SW Second Street and W MLK Jr. Parkway (November 2023)

Segment 1 of the WRA's Ingersoll Run Project is nearing completion several months ahead of schedule. All intersections entering downtown from W MLK Jr. Pkwy have opened and road reconstruction is set to be completed in spring of 2024.

DES MOINES, IOWA – Wednesday, November 22, 2023 – A major segment of the Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority's (WRA) EPA-mandated Ingersoll Run Sewer Separation Project is nearing completion several months ahead of the schedule after significantly altering traffic on W Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway in downtown Des Moines.

Both SW Third and SW Second Street reopened to normal traffic last week and all other intersections which access downtown from W MLK Jr. Pkwy are now open to travelers and residents. There are no further plans to close any intersections for the remainder of this segment.

Contractors have also finished laying cement to rebuild a majority of the north lanes of W MLK from SW 16th to SW Second Street. Two-way traffic has been limited to the south lanes as crews installed new sanitary sewer lines that will lead to the WRA's treatment plant rather than flowing out to the river directly.

"We're very happy that the contractors have been able to work ahead of schedule on road reconstruction before winter sets in." said WRA Facilities Engineer Melissa Schlickbernd. "There are still a few finishing touches that need to be finished but we look forward to opening up all lanes of traffic on MLK Parkway in the spring."

Curb intakes, landscaping and pavement restoration will be completed in the spring, which is months ahead of the original December 2024 completion estimate.

This segment of the project was unique due to its proximity to an archeological site. The area near Principal Park was the location of Fort Des Moines (the second of three military installations sharing the name) in the 1840s. The City of Des Moines was later established near this site at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers. This meant that archeological study of the area was required. Field work was completed in September, allowing construction crews full access to complete road reconstruction.

A general outline of the full plans of the Ingersoll Run Project can be found in an earlier WRA news release and all three segments of the project can be viewed on the City's Engineering project map at DSM.City/Projects. Updates will be provided publicly throughout the project.

For further project information, contact:

Melissa Schlickbernd: (515) 323-8038;

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