Development of the much anticipated Alice’s Road interchange was discussed last Thursday at a special public forum held in Waukee. A spokesman for Kirkham Michael, the company tasked with design and development of the ramps, detailed how they settled on a modern ‘divergent diamond interchange’ layout – citing estimated traffic patterns, and commercial development as the basis for their decision. According to the company’s website, the diverging diamond will handle a traffic capacity similar to that of the partial cloverleaf design, found on Jordan Creek Parkway, but with better interstate safety characteristics. Construction of the ramps will cause the inevitable closure of the nearby rest stops, located just east of the site. Members of the Department of Transportation commented on this foreseen issue, and plans are being developed to build a new facility. The design is to have the new site operational, within the same construction season as the demolition of the current location.
The intent to install an interchange at the current site has been a part of Des Moines’ economic development plan since 1994. Ground was broken for the Alice’s road bridge in the summer of 2009, and the crossing currently provides access between Ashworth and Wendover Road. Construction of the interchange will signal yet another phase in the westward expansion of the suburban landscape. The Alice’s Road corridor, as it is being called, is Waukee’s vision for the future, and includes plenty of room for a host of new local development. Plans for the corridor, which incorporate space for office, town center, and residential areas can be found at http://www.waukee.org/alicesroadcorrdior.html on the Waukee City website. Plans for the interchange, including prospected extension of the local bike trails, at www.alicesroad-105thstreet.info.
Public comment about the development of the interchange will close Monday, Sept. 16.