Updates to Des Moines Marina

Des Moines is closer to its goal of renovating the existing paddle craft boat launch at Gray’s Lake Park. Last December, the city accepted $300,000 in funding from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to help fund the nearly $2 million project. The city council’s approval for construction is expected in early Spring.

“We are very excited for the project.” said Colby Fangman, park planner II. “It provides operational efficiencies, a safer and more inclusive experience for the public, and the design is much more environmentally resilient than our existing paddling facilities.”

While the city has a master plan in place for park improvements, a destructive weather event triggered the marina renovation project. The marina improvements will include a metal floating dock with 16 slips, a universal kayak launch with an elastic mooring system, new pier, 80-foot metal gangway, concrete switchback ramps and retaining walls, as well as an 1,800 square foot viewing dock. As part of the park’s master plan, 650 feet of concrete bypass trail and 700 feet of asphalt trail aim to better integrate the park’s existing Kruidenier Trail and Terrace Building. “The staff working conditions during the rental season are also improved in this design,” said Fangman.

“Dock attendants will now have an area to escape from the sun, while still maintain quick access and visual oversight of the docks. The project is scheduled to be completed by October of 2025.

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