Street Improvements & Flood Prevention

Street Improvement priorityThirty years of economic downturns resulted in tight budgets, causing many Des Moines streets to fall into disrepair. Recent storms producing record-breaking rainfall in short periods of time have generated a greater sense of urgency to measure, prioritize and improve our stormwater management systems throughout the entire city.

Local Option revenue has allowed the City to supplement its Capital Improvement Plan budget, resulting in an accelerated approach to address much needed infrastructure improvement projects in every ward.

"These additional revenues have allowed the city to aggressively tackle need street repairs, and stormwater improvements. We’ve already seen how this has improved our busy streets, and has helped with the safe management of heavy rains."

Mel Pins, President, Somerset Neighborhood Association

FY2020 Local Option expenditures

Street Improvements & Flood Prevention



Street Improvements



Stormwater Improvements



Flood Prevention Property Buyouts



Total Budget



Street Improvements

In addition to the work already funded by the City’s existing Capital Improvement Program budget, new Local Option revenue paved the way for nearly 28 lane miles of additional roadway rehabilitation within a span of eight months. Local Option directly funded rehabilitation of 17 lane miles of neighborhood streets and 11 lane miles of major roadways such as Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Hubbell Avenue, Easton Boulevard and Hartford Avenue.

FY2020 Local Option revenue was used to add extra streets to the 2019 Residential Paving Program, as well as fund rehabilitation efforts along major roadways such as Hubbell Avenue, Hartford Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. The list of streets below does not include projects funded by property or road use taxes, only Local Option.

• 2019 Residential Paving Program
$1,589,995 in construction costs funded by Local Option.

This program reconstructs the pavement between the existing curb and gutters in residential neighborhoods. Localized areas of the curb and gutters are repaired, the existing asphalt surfacing materials are removed by milling/scarifying the street to an average depth of four-inches between the existing curb and gutters, then, the subgrade/subbase is prepared and the HMA pavement is constructed in two equal lifts. The program also addresses replacing existing sidewalk ramps with ADA-compliant ramps.

These residential streets saw improvements thanks to Local Option revenue in FY2020:

  • 53rd Street from Franklin Avenue to Hickman Road
  • 59th Street from Franklin Avenue to Francis Avenue
  • Lincoln Avenue from 59th Street to 61st Street
  • Francis Avenue from 61st Street to 62nd Street
  • 49th Place from Urbandale Avenue south to dead-end
  • Nierob Court from Washington Avenue north to dead-end
  • 36th Street from Washington Avenue to Franklin Avenue
  • E. Tiffin Avenue from E. 15th Street to Villa Vista Drive
  • Henderson Avenue from E. 15th Street to Villa Vista Drive
  • Richmond Avenue from E. 15th Street to Villa Vista Drive
  • Villa Vista Drive from Richmond Avenue to Henderson Avenue
  • Nevada Avenue from E. 13th Street to York Street
  • E. 31st Court from E. Washington Avenue to Easton Boulevard
  • Dubuque Avenue from E. 33rd Street to E. 36th Street
  • E. 34th Street from Dubuque Avenue to 180 feet south of
    Garfield Avenue
  • State Street from E. 32nd Street to E. 33rd Street
  • E. 29th Street from E. Grand Avenue to E. Walnut Street
  • Lyon Street from E. 29th Street to E. 30th Street
  • S.E. 7th Street from Raccoon Street to E. Court Avenue
  • E. Hillside Avenue from Indianola Avenue to S.E. 6th Street
  • E. Gray Street from S.E. 3rd Street to S.E. 5th Street
  • 19th Place from Leyner Street to Center Street
  • Northwood Drive from Gilmore Avenue to Terrace Drive
  • S.W. 5th Street from Park Avenue to Hughes Avenue

Future Local Option street improvement funds will continue to accelerate the City’s five-year road construction plan. Track plans for your neighborhood by exploring the City’s interactive project map at

• Hartford Avenue Rehabilitation
From S.E. 22nd Street to Cownie Soccer Complex. $612,864 in construction costs funded by Local Option.

This project completely reconstructed Hartford Avenue, a busy avenue on the south side of Des Moines. This reconstruction included pavement removal, earthwork, rock base, modified subbase, subdrain, Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) paving, surface restoration, erosion control, and other incidental items.

• Hubbell Avenue Rehabilitation
From E. 18th Street to Easton Boulevard. $1,619,330 in construction costs funded by Local Option.

This project included the resurfacing of Hubbell Avenue between E. 18th Street and Easton Boulevard on the northeast side of Des Moines. The project involved constructing missing sidewalk connections, full depth patching, milling and HMA overlay, and storm sewer improvements north of University Avenue.

• Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway Rehabilitation
From Hickman Road to Euclid Avenue. $1,171,455 in construction costs funded by Local Option.

This project included the resurfacing of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway from Hickman Road to Euclid Avenue on the northwest side of Des Moines. The project involved full-depth pavement patches, sidewalk, driveways, reconstructing medians, and rebuilding numerous storm sewer intakes.

• Design Contract for Hubbell Avenue and MLK Jr. Parkway Projects
$48,000 in design costs funded by Local Option.

• Design Contract for 16th Street Reconstruction
$14,000 in design costs funded by Local Option. Planned reconstruction from Day Street to Ascension Street.

Stormwater Improvements

FY2020 Local Option revenue was used to begin the process of developing a citywide Stormwater Master Plan without using existing stormwater fees or reducing the amount of planned construction work for storm sewers. City Council voted on July 13, 2020 to approve a two-phased approach that will be completed by the end of the 2021 calendar year.

• Stormwater Master Plan
$550,000 in administrative costs funded by Local Option.

Following City Council’s approval, here’s the timeline for collecting and assessing data to implementing a five-year capital plan and 25-year financial plan:

Phase 1

  • September 2020 – March 2021
    • Data needs assessment
    • Asset management program development
    • Capital prioritization process development
    • Administrative and regulatory planning
  • April 2021 – Phase 1 wrap-up

Phase 2

  • June-November 2021
    • System modeling
    • Capital project list development
    • Development of five-year capital plan and
      25-year financial plan
  • December 2021 – Phase 2 wrap-up

Flood Prevention Property Buyouts

No Local Option revenue was used in FY2020 for this program, so the originally budgeted $400,000 will carry over into FY2021 to support both citywide voluntary flood buyouts and buyouts necessary in the Fourmile Creek watershed.