Pedestrian bridge over Raccoon River near Gray's Lake expected to open this summer
The 75-acre development north of the Raccoon River will have 1,100 housing units and take 20 years to complete. Des Moines Register
Construction has started on a pedestrian bridge over the Raccoon River that will connect Gray's Lake to downtown Des Moines.
The bridge is a piece of Hubbell Realty Co.'s new Gray's Station, a 75-acre urban neighborhood that's being built on the southern edge of downtown. It should be open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic this summer.
Once complete, the bridge will connect pedestrians and cyclists south to the existing Kruidenier Trail that circles Gray's Lake. Hubbell will build a public-access trail through its neighborhood that spills out onto to the MLK Jr. Trail to the north of the river.
To the west, walkers and cyclists will be able to reach Water Works Park. Construction is also expected to start this year on Des Moines' $3.5 million Ruan Connector, an underpass connecting the two parks via Fleur Drive.
Hubbell's pedestrian bridge will be 12 feet wide and span 425 feet. The bridge will feature overlook points along the Raccoon River and a handicap accessible ramp to the trails.
Similar to the Gray's Lake bridge, it will light up at night.
"We carefully considered the lighting and popularity of the current Gray’s Lake bridge in our design to tie this project to the area," said Joe Pietruszynski, Hubbell's senior vice president of development and construction, in a news release.
Hubbell will pay for construction of the $3.8 million bridge, but the city will own it.
A wetland park system to the north of the Raccoon River is also being constructed by the city. It will have native plants that help filter water from more than 300 acres of downtown drainage before it dumps into the river.
"This amenity is the path for better storm water management and this wetland park system can now be an educational focal point," Pietruszynski said.
Hubbell is working to transform an abandoned rail yard into an upscale, walkable neighborhood in a park-like setting. The 75-acre neighborhood is located south of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, between Southwest 16th and Southwest 11th streets.
The West Des Moines-based realty company continues to make progress on its first Gray's Station project, Linc, a 195-unit apartment complex along Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. Its first tenants are expected to move in in 2020.
Hubbell Homes expects to begin construction on the first phase of its owner-occupied, single-family townhomes in early spring 2019. The first phase includes 89 units with 15 different building design styles and floor plans.