DES MOINES, Iowa — Typically this time of year is extremely busy for construction workers who are working to finish up projects before winter hits. But when you have a November like we are seeing, already cold and snowy, contractors’ gameplans can go haywire.
Both the city of Des Moines and the Iowa DOT said this recent cold snap isn’t ideal, but it didn’t cause any major problems to construction projects, at least not yet.
Jesse Tibedeau with the Iowa DOT said they strive to get most projects done by Thanksgiving, but instead of the early winter weather hurting their timeline, it was really the amount of rain we saw within the past couple of months that is making them work hard right up until the holidays.
Des Moines City Engineer Steve Naber said it’s the same case for their projects. Projects like the Locust Street bridge oftentimes need warmer weather to make progress, but the milder weather coming soon should help.
“Cold weather does present some challenges. We generally like the temperature to be 40 degrees and rising when placing concrete for bridge decks; however, there are things that they can do such as insulated forms and covering up the concrete efforts placed to combat that,” Naber said.
The Locust Street bridge is still months away from being finished, it’s not going to be complete until next summer. That’s the same for a lot of other projects around the metro.
Fleur Drive and the Interstate-35 and 1st St interchange in Ankeny both won’t be complete until 2020 as well.
Another big project that is still on track is the Urban Loop near Grimes that is set to be completed late next year. The Iowa DOT says they plan to install the big girder in the next few weeks and that will require that part of Interstate 80/35 to be shut down during installation.
One big project that’s finish line is very close, is at the intersection of Hwy 415 and 66th Avenue by Saylorville. That intersection is planned to be done by the holidays, but it is very weather dependent with much of the work left involved asphalt and painting the roadway.