DES MOINES, Iowa — For several years now the Ingersoll Streetscape project has been transforming Ingersoll Avenue to improve roadway safety, accessibility, utilities and stormwater drainage. With plenty left to do, business owners want to know when construction will be done.
“This is incredibly typical for Ingersoll. I’m down here six days a week and most of the time this is what Ingersoll looks like,” Carey Hansen, owner of Manhattan Deli said referring to an empty piece of construction equipment surrounded by parking cones. “It’s tore up and nothing is happening.”
Hansen and her husband purchased the Manhattan Deli in 2020. Last month they voiced frustration over the impacts to their business with zero communication from the city of Des Moines.
On top of losing parking due to the construction, Hansen said streets are closed without notice, traffic lanes are adjusted and water service isn’t always reliable.
“We’ve had to close the deli 12 times due to service issues,” Hansen said.
Last month the city of Des Moines acknowledged a breakdown of communication with business owners regarding delays. On Thursday, City Engineer Steve Naber released a statement saying in part:
“We have had city staff and leadership from the contractor go door to door to meet with residents and business representatives as well as deliver written notices for major construction updates.”
“We never spoke to anyone directly from the city. We shared some frustrations last month as well as on social media and they did come in the following day and leave a business card. Unfortunately, my husband and I were not in the deli that day, we didn’t know they were coming, they didn’t alert us they were coming so we haven’t had any communication with the city whatsoever,” Hansen said.
The city encourages residents and business owners to reach out directly to the city engineering department with questions or concerns. Concerned citizens can call directly at (515)283-4920 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The contractor for the project expects work on the current phase will be completed by the end of Fall.