U.S. 69 Location Study


U.S. 69 map corridor

Des Moines’ portion of US Highway 69 (US 69), constructed in the 1930s, was built to be part of a larger cross-country route from Texas to Minnesota, and has served as a backbone to Iowa’s highway network since it opened. As the city’s population and economy grew, US 69 became an important highway corridor for residents, commuters and freight operations in the Des Moines area. Today, US 69 has a wide array of multimodal traffic generators and land uses, including residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial. US 69 also includes street sections that vary along the corridor between four-lane undivided, four-lane divided, five-lane divided, and one-way pairs.

At the beginning of 2019, Iowa DOT kicked off a US 69 Location Study for the Des Moines area, an approximately 10-mile corridor that begins immediately north of County Line Road and extends north to immediately south of Interstates 80 and 35. This study will evaluate existing and future multimodal operations as well as safety and reliability. Focused, concept-level projects to specific areas along the corridor will be identified. These projects will balance needs and improve safety for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users.

The US 69 Location Study will take a number of factors into consideration as the study progresses, and will include activities such as: 

  • Environmental impact analysis
  • Traffic, safety, and reliability analyses
  • Vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle crash analyses
  • Current and projected peak hour traffic volumes
  • Design criteria and performance measures
  • Conceptual development of alternatives
  • Alternatives implementation strategy
  • Stakeholder and public engagement


Iowa DOT has identified multiple stakeholders throughout the metro area and is committed to actively engaging these stakeholders and the public through the US 69 Location Study. 

US 69 location study
A public meeting to present recommendations and implementation strategy was originally scheduled for May 2020. Timing of that meeting is being readjusted. No date has been specified at this time.