Hubbell Realty Company has completed the construction of the $4 million pedestrian bridge and connecting bike trail system. The bridge connects the 75-acre Gray’s Station neighborhood and downtown to the north of the Raccoon River with Gray’s Lake Park trails as well as the pending Water Works Park tunnel, trails and amphitheater.
The bridge will allow walkers, runners and bikers to overlook the banks of the Raccoon River as well as connect to many downtown venues. A handicap accessible ramp to the Gray’s Lake, Kruidenier and Meredith trails will also open on the south side of the bridge.
The bridge also includes a variety of lighting displays that can match the current Gray’s Lake bridge and many other lighting schemes.
“It is really powerful to see this unique project come to fruition. This was a critical piece for us to complete in order to have the connectivity, ease of access and tie to downtown Des Moines, Gray’s Lake Park as well as all of Central Iowa’s bike trail systems,” said Joe Pietruszynski, Senior Vice President of Development and Construction with Hubbell.
The bordering wetland park system, constructed by the City of Des Moines, is also wrapping up construction and installation of more than 45,000 native plant plugs throughout the basin, which will help better filter water before reaching the Raccoon River. In line with Plan DSM, the water basin, which currently provides flood storage to 390 acres and water quality for 200 acres, has been reconstructed into a regional storm water amenity.
“This amenity is the path for better storm water management and this wetland park system can now be an educational focal point. This will be an example of how we can use natural resources – plants, grasses, wildlife – to clean our waters before they enter the rivers,” said Pietruszynski.
The bridge and trail are pending Des Moines City Council approval and acceptance but both will remain open to the public.