The City of Des Moines is underway with the largest street repair effort in Des Moines history. More than $427 million in street construction, repair and rehabilitation is proposed between 2020 and 2027. That’s an average of $61 million invested in Des Moines streets each year moving forward, more than doubling the previous average of $30 million invested annually.
While the financial commitment is record-breaking for our city, the amount of work ahead of us is significant. Our latest assessment rated 43 percent of our streets in poor or very poor condition. Improvements won’t happen overnight, but there is now a substantial financial commitment to rebuild those streets to a higher standard with a longer expected lifespan.
Moving away from “the worst is first” approach, the City will continue to collect road condition data every two years to take a measured approach in determining the most efficient and effective way to prioritize the additional investment in street maintenance. We're rebuilding roads from the ground up, including major routes such as Fleur Drive and Hubbell Avenue, as well as neighborhood streets in every corner of the city.
20-year Street Maintenance Forecast
The City of Des Moines maintains the city streets on a continuing basis to reduce the need for total reconstruction. We use a computer model to calculate our operation goal each year. The model looks at the following facts:
- Current and projected extent of street defects
- Current and projected traffic
- Actual deterioration rates
- Repairs needed to address the defects
- Inflation and discount rates applicable to all expenses generated by related work
- Available budget
The evaluation results in a 20-year maintenance plan. Public Works uses that plan to define a 5-year and an annual construction program.
Capital Improvement Projects
The Division of Construction and Design within the Department of Engineering oversees the preparation of all street projects. Once the annual program is finalized, the Public Works Department Division of Street Maintenance implements field operations schedules.
Over three years, City Council tripled the budget for the Capital Improvement Program to $206 million. The proposal for FY2023 includes a record-breaking $92 million just for street improvements, which is triple our previous annual average of $30 million for streets.
You can find information about active and upcoming infrastructure improvement projects on our Projects & CIP Map.
Report a Pothole
Replacing a street takes significant time and resources, and the harsh winter weather we experience isn’t going to wait for us to finish before giving us additional potholes to deal with.
For a short-term fix, report a pothole to our Public Works staff and we’ll try to respond within 24-72 hours to your request for patching.