University Avenue Corridor Improvements (31st Street to 48th Street)

8/10/2022 Project Update

Reconstructing University Avenue Corridor: A Project Overview

Beginning in 2019, The City of Des Moines Engineering Department began University Avenue Corridor Improvements starting at 63rd Street, working east towards the downtown area. The primary goal of these improvements was to improve roadway safety for all types of traffic that utilize this corridor, including reducing unsafe corridor speeds and vehicular maneuvering (jockeying/passing), improving pedestrian crossings, and adding dedicated bicycle facilities. "Road Diets" such as this 4-lane to 3-lane conversion have been proven nationally and locally to improve roadway safety and multi-modal accessibility for all.

Background on Completed Improvements

  • In 2019, University Avenue from 63rd Street to 55th Street was converted from 4 lanes to 3 lanes with a center left-turn lane. The Pedestrian bridge near the Windsor Elementary School was also replaced with the HAWK (High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk) Beacon and a raised refuge island.
  • In 2019, University Avenue from 55th Street to 48th Street was converted from 4 lanes to 3 lanes with a center left-turn lane. A multi-use trail was also added alongside the Waveland Golf Course.
  • In 2020, University Avenue from 31st Street to 25th Street was converted from 5 lanes to 3 lanes with a center left-turn lane. Dedicated on-street bicycle lanes were also installed.

Project Purpose and Goals

Safety: The main goal of this project is to improve roadway safety and multi-modal accessibility

Consistent Corridors: A vehicular traffic study was completed and found traffic volumes are well within 3 lane roadway capacity.

Improving Pavement Condition: The roadway pavement has deteriorated and needs to be resurfaced.

Project Presentations

The City of Des Moines Engineering Department held a virtual public meeting for this project on January 5, 2022. To view a PDF version of the University Avenue Corridor Improvements, click the button below.


Recording of the January 6, 2022 Meeting

City Project Manager
Christopher Kuhl
City of Des Moines Engineering Department - Project Engineer
Phone
(515)-283-4073
Email
CKKuhl@dmgov.org
 

Scope and Budget for the Project

Q&A: Will University Avenue remain open during the project, and will I have access to my driveway?

Q&A: Will sidewalks be reconstructed and widened, and will more space be put between the sidewalk and street?

Q&A: Will the difficulties at the 48th Street and University Avenue intersection be resolved?

Q&A: Will overhead utilities along University Avenue be relocated or moved underground?

Q&A: Why isn't the City relocating the overhead utilities between 41st and 42nd street?

Q&A: How will the intersections of Polk Boulevard & University Avenue and 47th Street & University Avenue operate with the proposed median at 47th Street?

Q&A: With the proposed median at University Avenue and 47th Street, will parking be allowed on both sides of 47th Street?

Q&A: Larger vehicles parked in the angled parking spaces on University Avenue between Polk Boulevard and 48th Street are too large. What is being done about this issue?

Q&A: Will the Polk Boulevard and University Avenue traffic signal includes a pedestrian countdown signal on the east side of Polk Boulevard?

How will bicyclist safety be accounted for at the Polk Boulevard and University Avenue intersection?

Q&A: Will the proposed median at 47th Street and University Avenue cause more traffic on 48th Street?

Q&A: Why is a separated bicycle trail proposed on the south side of University Avenue west of Polk Boulevard?

Q&A: Is there landscaping included for the proposed median between 41st Street and 42nd Street?

Q&A: Can a pedestrian crossing be installed closer to the intersection of 41st Street and University Avenue?