March 30, 2023

As ICON’s project manager, it’s my responsibility to oversee ICON’s current downtown projects. These consist of the dam mitigations at Scott Avenue and Fleur Drive and the regional park improvements at Birdland Marina, Prospect Park, and Harriet Street. ICON’s downtown run has a major milestone ahead as we prepare to break ground on the Scott Avenue site. Check out our latest updates below!

Scott Avenue

The future site of the ICON Water Trails access point at the Scott Avenue bridge is just weeks away from groundbreaking. Thus far, the area has undergone a three-acre tree felling and clearing. ICON’s construction has been planned using the highest levels of conservation standards including scheduling fells in a way that avoids potentially impacting the habitats of threatened bat species; ensuring that no bald eagle nests are disturbed and consulting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for methodology and approach; and designing new features in partnership with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to ensure optimal fish passageways and habitats.

In the coming weeks, the contractor plans to begin removing the south abutment of the old railroad bridge that used to cross the river. They will then build a small causeway to get into the river to remove three pier footings from the old bridge. Most of the in-water work will take place later this summer when the water levels are at their lowest. The historic dam beneath the Scott Avenue bridge is being mostly unchanged by the project with only minor modifications to make it safer, allow paddling access, and improve the fish passage.

Fleur Drive

The design team contracted by ICON Water Trails has completed the topographic and bathymetric surveys throughout the entire project corridor. The team has started wetland surveys and is modeling groundwater movements to determine if the associated project will have any impact on the adjacent Dico site. Representatives of ICON have met with Des Moines Water Works and Iowa DNR to review project constraints and desired design criteria for the project. Additionally, we are actively coordinating with the adjacent Gray’s Landing and Krause+ soccer stadium projects. Aligning the vision for this area will maximize impact and ensure for a dynamic guest experience.

Downtown Timeline

There’s going to be a lot of movement on ICON’s downtown sites over the next few years! Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:

  • Summer 2023: Fleur Drive Site Design Phase
  • Fall 2023: Harriett Street Site Letting
  • Spring 2024: Scott Avenue Site North Half In-River Work Complete
  • Fall 2024: Scott Avenue Site Uplands Letting
  • Summer 2025: Scott Avenue Site In-River Work Complete
  • Fall 2025: Harriet Street Site Complete
  • Summer 2026: Scott Avenue Site Uplands Complete
  • Fall 2026: Fleur Drive Site Complete

For additional updates on ICON’s downtown sites, visit the Downtown Construction Updates page of our website.

About the Author: Monica Converse is ICON Water Trails’ Project Manager. She is a graduate of Iowa State University and now resides in Polk City with her husband and two daughters.