• Thu April 24 2008
  • Posted Apr 24, 2008
By MOLLY HOTTLE REGISTER STAFF WRITER A $2.9 million restoration project intended to aesthetically improve Ingersoll Avenue will see activity by the end of the month. Work began in July on the segment from 28th to 31st streets, but was halted over winter and delayed this spring by inclement weather. The Des Moines City Council last week awarded a contract for more than $1 million to Jasper Construction of Newton for work that includes wider sidewalks, decorative street lighting, park benches and flower beds between 28th and 31st streets. Kimberly Hansen, co-chairwoman of the Restoration Ingersoll project, said the plans haven't changed and the work is ready to resume. "What people will see within the next month is continued work on 28th Street to 29th as far as more detail with the planters, benches and bicycle racks, as well as the more intense work with the sewer work and power lines," Hansen said. Construction on the 28th Street to 29th Street stretch is expected to be complete by the Aug. 23 Ingersoll Live event, the area's annual street party. Work from 29th Street to 31st Street will be done by the end of 2008 or the spring of 2009, weather permitting, to complete the pilot project portion of Restoration Ingersoll. Hansen said $2.85 million has been raised for the project through a mix of private and public funding, including contributions from the city of Des Moines and Polk County. Sponsorships are still available to those wanting to buy benches to help fund the restoration. "What we wanted to do was embrace the fact that the residential and commercial go hand in hand around here," Hansen said. She said she also has seen an increased demand for Ingersoll property in the last couple of years while the project has been in the works. The improvements "will bring increased retail to the area on Ingersoll and increase property values for residents in the area," she said. "We haven't been worried about filling in vacant spots." Troy Dubberke, owner of Suzette's Candies at 2837 Ingersoll Ave. for the past 60 years, is anticipating more business as a result of last year's renovations. "Obviously, it's a challenge for all of us business owners when your street is torn up," Dubberke said. "But it's an incredible project. It's all for the better." Jackie Moberg, owner of Moberg Gallery that has been at 2921 Ingersoll Ave. for five years, said the obstructions to her business will be worth the end result. "It's not going to be the end of the world," said Moberg. "It's going to be great, because it brings attention to Ingersoll. People in West Des Moines and Waukee that have never heard of Moberg Gallery are going to read about it." Eventually, Restoration Ingersoll will span from 15th Street to 42nd Street, planners said, but construction beyond the pilot project is unlikely until 2010.

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