From improving the Sixth Avenue streetscape to building the $20 million Grand Prairie Parkway in Waukee, more than 600 projects have been submitted for funding from central Iowa’s transportation agency.
Now, the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization wants the public’s opinion on which projects should receive money.
The MPO is taking public comment until July 15. The organization’s board composed of representatives from cities around the region is set to decide in September which projects are first in line to receive funding.
The MPO’s long-range transportation plan is part of The Tomorrow Plan, which aims to address transportation, housing and environmental health in the region through the year 2050.
Unlike with previous long-term transportation plans, the MPO aims prioritize maintenance over new construction. Shrinking state and federal funding, poor road and bridge conditions and demographic shifts toward urban areas will require more spending on repairs, bike trails and public transit projects, transportation officials said.
Other projects proposed for funding include:
- The extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway east toward Pleasant Hill
- Widening Iowa Highway 5 from four lanes to six
- The extension of Veterans Parkway, also called the Southwest Connector, in West Des Moines
- Widening Interstate 80/35 from six to eight lanes
- The replacement or repair of several vehicle and pedestrian bridges downtown
- The extension or improvement of several bus routes