Des Moines & Raccoon Rivers, Iowa

Rock Island District
Published Oct. 30, 2023
Railroad Closure in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa

Railroad Closure in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa


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 based on preliminary investigation. Additional funds were provided to conduct a full Levee Risk Assessment to evaluate the extent of the design deficiency. The Levee Risk Assessment determined that the levee is safe and that no additional measures are required. The Levee Safety Oversight Group reviewed the Levee Risk Assessment team findings and confirmed the results on August 17, 2021.  

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

$ 9,948,000

Estimated Total Project Cost

$ 28,085,000

Allocations Prior to FY 2023

$ 18,137,000

FY 2023 Allocation

$ 0

FY 2024 Allocation

$ 0

FY 2024 President’s Budget

$ 0

FY 2024 Total Capability

$ 0


Major Work Items Prior Fiscal Year

FY 2023:  O&M Plan was completed and project cost sharing was financially reconciled and closed.

Major Work Items Current Year

FY 2024:  Formal project Turn-over letter will be provided by Rock Island District commander.