US Army Corps of Engineers
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District Projects

Des Moines & Raccoon Rivers, Iowa

Published March 25, 2020

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 $28,269,000. The current fully funded total project cost estimate is $28,086,000. The project is currently constructing the two remaining 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 mid-2017, railroad personnel informed the design team of a safety requirement for shoring on the two downtown railroad closures. In September 2019, the USACE change control board approved an increase in the project cost limit to account for these safety measures required on two remaining railroad closures. Federal and Non-federal funds have been received to account for this additional work. 

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 due to a design deficiency. The team has completed preliminary design of measures to address concern with seepage under levee but need additional authority and funds to complete design and construct measures. 

Need additional funds to develop 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.

Additional Information

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost $18,137,000
Estimated Non-federal Cost $9,949,000
Estimated Total project cost $28,086,000
Allocations Prior to FY 2020 $17,722,000
FY 2020 Allocations $415,000
FY 2020 Total Capability $415,000


Major Work Item Current Year

FY 2020: Complete construction of two remaining railroad closure structures. Obtain additional funding to complete design of measures to address seepage under Birdland Levee. Begin Design Deficiency Report seeking Congressional re-authorization and appropriation of additional funding to construct seepage measures.