Norwalk, Iowa has grown 43% since 2010; 3 developments to watch in 2022

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If Norwalk’s growth keeps pace, the city will overtake Indianola as the largest in Warren County well before the next census in 2030.

City Manager Luke Nelson said Norwalk grew 43%, to 12,799 residents, between 2010 and 2020. During the same period, Indianola grew 7%, to 15,833.

“We are fortunate to be in a growth phase,” said Nelson.

As the city continues to grow, here are the projects to watch for in 2022:

Hotel to lead way north of Norwalk

Nelson said the most exciting development to come out of Norwalk this year will be the North Shore development and a new 40- to 60-room hotel at the intersection of Highway 28 and Highway 5 within Cree distance. from bustling West Des Moines commercial properties.

North Shore, a 360-acre mixed-use development located on Norwalk’s Colchester Lake and part of the Lakewood Village Association, is expected to house over 500 lakefront single-family homes, approximately 500 townhouses and a limited number. of lake views. apartments, according to the association’s website.

The development of North Shore, when complete, is expected to add $ 300 million to the city’s tax base.

“The hotel will require a new intersection with the roadway and utilities connecting Echo Valley Drive,” said Nelson. “We’ll see the dirt move for the intersection project and maybe the hotel in 2022.”

Nelson said the community’s investments in the project will likely pay off in about 10 years.

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Work on Norwalk Central development begins to change the heart of the city

Planning is expected to continue this year on the development of Norwalk Central, which consists of 620 acres off State Highway 28 and south of Beardsley Street in east central Norwalk. Nelson said earthworks are expected to start in the area this spring.

Once it is extended east of Sunset Drive, Chatham Avenue will become the main route through the development, with businesses facing the road, Nelson said. In previous interviews, city officials have said it could be 10 years before the full Norwalk Central project is completed.

A sports complex was the first major component of the project to be announced in September 2021, when city council agreed to go ahead with a general bond urban renewal loan deal. The city will spend up to $ 9.5 million to build a public sports and recreation facility in the area.

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A 45,000 square foot multi-purpose facility for athletics, sports and public recreation is scheduled to open this year. The facility will include four indoor basketball / multisport courts, washrooms, an equipment warehouse, city parks and recreation offices, and a common area for reception, concessions, and entertainment space. versatile activities.

Work on the outdoor playgrounds will begin first, Nelson said, with plans to have these fields ready for play this fall. Construction on the building will likely begin in 2023, with a completion date slated for sometime in 2024.

The “most exciting and maybe even sexy” project of 2022? Each light will be resynchronized on Highway 28.

Although Nelson said the new North Shore hotel is the biggest project to open this year, he said scheduling all the traffic lights on Highway 28 was “the most exciting and maybe even sexy”.

“And you can quote me – every light will be timed along the freeway,” Nelson said.

At a cost of $ 883,000, Nelson said thousands of residents and commuters who pass through the area will notice the difference. When drivers approach the speed limit, they will be stopped by fewer red lights than in the past.

The system’s traffic lights communicate with each other, Nelson explained, and will guide traffic through the area faster and more efficiently.

“But there will be growing pains,” Nelson said.

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The cost includes running a new high-speed optical fiber to connect lights, new equipment and computer systems, and testing. A grant from the Iowa Clean Air Attainment program of $ 700,000 will cover most of the costs.

Work on the project will begin this year and will end in late 2022 or early 2023.

Along with the synchronization of the traffic lights, the intersection of North Avenue and Highway 28 will be “blown up” and completely reconfigured this year, Nelson said. The work should start in April and end in late August or September.

North Avenue is currently two-lane. The new intersection design will allow for turning lanes, a median to guide traffic and better crosswalks.

Nelson said construction on the North Avenue intersection could be messy as the city does not have good options for a detour. Since a significant amount of utilities are buried around the corner, along with a large culvert, construction will significantly disrupt traffic.

And just as travel begins to flow on Hwy 28, work will begin in early 2023 on a completely new design for the intersection of Beardsley Street and Hwy 28. Planning for that design will begin. This year.

“So we want to make sure that all of our wonderful residents and traveling neighbors who commute via Norwalk are aware of this two-year disruption to traffic along Highway 28,” Nelson said.

A glimpse of the coming decade

Nelson ended his list of developments to watch by looking a little further.

North Avenue heads west from Norwalk toward Cumming on the County G14 Freeway and Interstate 35. This connection to I-35 is the only one on a 15 mile stretch of Hwy 5 in Bevington in west-central Warren County. This year, Norwalk plans to launch a transportation study to examine the overall connections between Norwalk and the subway. Improved access solutions could include a new I-35 interchange or a new road system like Highway 5.

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Also this year, Nelson said the city will begin work on the design phase of a North Avenue realignment project that will likely include the community’s first roundabout. Construction likely wouldn’t start until 2023, but Nelson said he suspected Norwalk residents of going through a couple of roundabouts in the area over the next five years.

“A growing city is expensive to run,” said Nelson. “Sometimes I hear people complaining about the high cost of living here. But I’m telling you, for what you get – that small town feel, the safety – you pay a little more. But I think you get more – a lot more. “

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Teresa Kay Albertson covers the southern suburbs of Des Moines for the Register and the Indianola Record-Herald. Contact her at [email protected] or 515-419-6098.


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