November 16, 2023

As ICON Water Trails prepares to close out another productive year connecting water, communities, and people, we wanted to provide an update on the much-anticipated downtown portion of the project. Earlier this year, we broke ground on Principal Point at the Scott Avenue dam, marking the official start of downtown construction for ICON. See below for a snapshot on ICON’s future downtown!

Principal Point at the Scott Avenue Bridge

Tremendous progress continues at Principal Point, ICON’s site located at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers and Scott Avenue bridge. The contractor has officially begun work in the river! Sheet piles for the cascading drop feature are being placed, with modifications to the dam beginning soon. Most of the materials, including rock and sheet piling that will be utilized for work within the water, have been stockpiled near the site. Construction of the maintenance path leading down to the river is complete. The river levels are still very low, allowing for easier in-water work with minimal dewatering efforts needed. Grading has also occurred along the river’s south bank, downstream of the future recreational drops. Upland design work will pick back up in early 2024. You can view a live feed of the construction site here!

Harriet Street Site

Bids for the ICON access point at Harriet Street were received back on October 17, and all were within budget! Contracts are now going to the MPO for approval. Work could begin as early as late this fall or spring 2024, pending the contractor’s schedule. The Harriet Street site is funded in part by the $25 million federal BUILD grant received by the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) on behalf of ICON Water Trails.

Fleur Drive Site

The ICON Water Trails Fleur Drive site concept design is complete, and the preliminary design and permitting phase is now underway. Currently, the project remains on schedule and within budget. The existing concept has features close to the Coleman Bridge but raises the water in this stretch of river to drown out the upstream Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) dam, making it passable during ideal float conditions. Progress has been made on designing the uplands piece of the project, which required coordination with adjacent projects including Hubbell’s Grays Station and Pro Iowa.

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.