The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization announced $15 million in grant awards today for projects around the Des Moines area.

The largest award, $4.6 million, went to the city of Des Moines for the Southeast Connector project from Southeast 30th Street to U.S. Highway 65. 

The grants support a variety of projects for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Other projects receiving grants approved by the MPO Policy Committee last week include major road construction projects in Altoona, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights, and bridge improvements in Des Moines and Polk County.

The grants also include funds for new buses and shelters for the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority, electrical bikes for the BCycle bike-sharing program and new trail projects in Des Moines and Ankeny.

“We are really pleased with this cycle of grant awards,” Joe Gatto, Des Moines City Council member and chair of the MPO Policy Committee, said in a release announcing the grants Monday morning. “This shows you how the region is working together to build a regional transportation network with options for all residents.” 

The grants are funded through the federal Surface Transportation Block Grant Program -- intended for vehicle transportation projects -- and the Surface Transportation Block Set-Aside Program -- intended for trails and other pedestrian-friendly projects.

The grants, administered by the Des Moines Area MPO, will become available for the projects in October 2023.

Projects that received grants were scored on how well they met regional goals established in the MPO’s Mobilizing Tomorrow plan, a long-range transportation plan through the year 2050, along with public input on the projects.