Construction of a New Interchange Can Begin - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Construction of a New Interchange Can Begin

Posted: Updated:

By Alex Schuman

Construction on a new interchange on Interstate 80 was halted back in March once officials suspected a rare bat made the area its new home.

The unwelcome neighbor meant everything stopped on the interchange, and endangered the entire project to offer a new connection for West Des Moines and Waukee to I-80.

Officials from the Fish and Wild Life Service came, and searched for the bat.  They put nets up in the trees, and once they found nothing, told the Iowa Dept. of Transportation to move forward.

"It kinda ruined half of our construction season," said Bill Peard, Waukee Mayor.  "We understand and support [preserving] species that are on the endangered list, but also we wanted to move forward with this.  So this is huge news."

The interchange will connect to Alice Road, which is surrounded by "For Sale," signs in preparation for a major economic development benefiting both West Des Moines and Waukee.

"We think is going to be a 62 million dollar project," said Peard.

Waukee expects to have the designs finished by next summer, and then they can start taking bids for construction.

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