GREENWAY CONCEPT: Sustainable Development

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The landscape will soon change in Waukee as crews develop 1,700 acres of land. Workers will begin creating the new Interstate 80 interchange in Waukee this fall. City leaders say they’re planning a corridor project to go along with it that isn’t like anything else in the metro.

The land that will soon be a part of the Alice’s Road Extension doesn’t look like it is part of a city now. Waukee Mayor Bill Peard says, “You’re developing in a cornfield, so they’ve done no grading or stuff, so we’re kind of starting from the ground up.”

Peard says the new corridor project will extend Alice’s Road from University Avenue to Ashworth Road and a new interstate interchange. The plan calls for developing 1,700 acres of land for homes, offices and shops. Peard says they’ll do it with the environment in mind.

He says, “It’s called the greenway concept. And, we decided that when we were going to develop Alice’s Road corridor that we wanted to create a unique storm water drainage system as well as an amenity people could be attracted to.”

Mayor Peard says the concept calls for building a storm water system for the entire area. Canals could also go through to help manage the water. And, native plants will help soak up and filter storm water. The city will manage it, instead of requiring individual developers to reduce runoff. Interim City Manager Brad Deets says, “So, it’s a lot greener way of looking at the storm water management because it’s an integrated system as opposed to relying on individual businesses and property owners to maintain own infrastructure.”

The greenway will include interconnected parks and trails. The mayor says it will attract new business to the area. He says, “Waukee is poised for, once this interchange gets done and the Alice’s Road corridor starts being worked on, I think you’re going to see a lot of interest from businesses that are sitting back right now and waiting for infrastructure to be completed.”

Work will start this fall and should be completed in just a couple years. The project is currently in the process of an environmental assessment. The greenway concept will cost about $3 million. The entire interchange and road extension project totals $62 million and will be paid for by public and private funds.

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