See inside a historic wooden storm sewer in Des Moines

Feb 1, 2022

A major Des Moines storm sewer project is about to claim a piece of underground history. It's a nearly 100-year-old Wooden storm sewer.

Des Moines Public Works opened a manhole near Aurora and Cornell on the cities Northeast side to give us a look.


“This is actually an old, wooden, box culvert that was constructed in the 1930s that has served the city for a very long time. We need to replace it and also need to upsize it to provide more capacity because we've had flooding issues in the neighborhood in the past,” said Patrick Beane, the Clean Water Program Administrator for Des Moines Public Works.

Des Moines Public Works invited KCCI to take a closer look, so we put on protective gear and strapped on a harness. A public works crew used a winch, to slowly lower us through the manhole and down into the old storm sewer.

Back To Top