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Nearly 4 years after historic 2018 flood, Beaverdale storm drain improvements enter final phase

After plans began way back in 2002, the project along Franklin Avenue in Des Moines is expected to be finished by fall 2023.

DES MOINES, Iowa — This week marks the four-year anniversary of the historic June 30, 2018 flood.

One person died and countless other lives were changed after a round of training thunderstorms persisted over the Des Moines metro that Saturday evening.

Since then, the City of Des Moines has pushed multiple storm drain pipe renovation projects forward, including the Closes Creek Watershed Improvement Project in Beaverdale.

"This will significantly reduce the risk of flooding in this part of town once the project is completed," said Des Moines Clean Water Program Administrator Patrick Beane.

Crews are working on replacing the two-foot-wide storm drain pipe under Franklin Avenue between Beaver Drive and 44th Street with five-foot-wide pipe, a 250% increase in potential water flow.

The initial gameplan for the project came back in 2002 after a stormwater drainage study was completed. Then, after the 2018 flood, the Des Moines City Council sped up the project's timeline, aiming for a 2023 completion date.

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Impacts to nearby residents have been somewhat minimal so far, mainly due to the way contractors are laying the new pipe.

"We're actually tunneling this pipe in, and that's for a couple of reasons. One is to reduce impact to residents and the neighborhood so that we don't have as many driveways that are blocked off as we're putting a big trench in. It also makes it so restoration is significantly cheaper," Beane added.

This final phase of the project is expected to be completed in fall 2023.

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