The City of Pleasant Hill has been working with the City of Des Moines to plan, construct, and apply for funding for the Southeast Connector/Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway Extension for over a decade. Pleasant Hill and Des Moines submitted a joint application for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant in 2023 and has been awarded $34 million for the final segment of the corridor.
“The City of Pleasant Hill is thrilled our federal partners recognize the importance of this infrastructure investment project,” says Sara Kurovski, Mayor of Pleasant Hill. “This project is a testament to the power of partnerships between local, state, and federal governments. Finishing the Southeast Connector increases our resident’s quality of life by improving safety and flood protection in the area, reduces commuting and drive times, connecting trail that fills critical gaps within our region’s recreation network, and increases our economic competitiveness.”
This critical infrastructure project provides a direct connection from U.S. 5/65 in Pleasant Hill to downtown Des Moines. Pleasant Hill completed a portion of the Southeast Connector in 2021. This phase realigned the intersection of South Pleasant Hill Boulevard and Vandalia Road, raised the roadway out of the 500-year floodplain, consolidated two uncontrolled railroad crossings into one signalized crossing, added pedestrian improvements and trail, and reconstructed the on-ramp to the Highway 65 bypass.