US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District

District Projects

Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, Iowa

Published March 8, 2019

Program Manager


Downtown Des Moines, IA -- Central Place & Birdland Park levees; Downtown Closures


The Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers Feasibility Report, approved in 2005, recommended the reconstruction of 2.6 miles of levee systems at Birdland Park & Central Place and the improvement of Downtown Closures in existing Des Moines levee systems. The project was authorized for construction in WRDA 2007 and E&WDAA 2010.


The project was reauthorized in WRRDA 2014 for $23,245,000. The current Section 902 limit is $28,101,000. The current fully funded total project cost estimate is $26,747,000. The project is currently constructing all nine closure structures. 


Construction of the Birdland Park and Central Place levee improvements have been completed. The As Built Drawings and the O&M Manual have been completed and provided to the City of Des Moines. These two levees constitute approximately 90% of the authorized project. Completion of the authorized project will require the construction of nine closure structures to protect the downtown Des Moines area.

In December, 2017 a concern with seepage under the Birdland levee was identified. Corps and City staff determined that the levee does not meet USACE design criteria. Completed preliminary design of measures to address concern with seepage under levee. Need additional funds to complete: closures, Birdland design for seepage measures, and post authorization change report to gain additional authority needed to construct seepage measures. 


CG - Construction General Authorized for construction in WRDA 2007, Section 1001; and in E&WDAA 2010, Section 113; authorized project cost increased in WRRDA 2014.

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost  $17,385,550
Estimated Non-Federal Cost  $9,361,450 
Estimated Total Project Cost  $26,747,000 
Allocations Prior to FY 2019  $17,267,003 
FY 2019 Allocation  $0 
FY 2019 Total Capability  TBD 


Major Work Item Current Year

FY 2019: Complete construction of remaining closure structures. City and Corps to complete design of measures to address seepage under Birdland Levee. Complete post authorization change report seeking Congressional re-authorization and appropriation of additional funding to construct seepage measures.