Iowa Falls, IA

Ellis Avenue Improvements

  • Client City of Iowa Falls
  • Type Municipal
  • Services Planning and Construction
  • Construction Cost $4.66 Million
  • Project Manager John Gade, P.E.
  • Project Engineer Mitch Holtz, P.E.


Since 2000, the city of Iowa Falls has been examining its infrastructure needs. Like many other communities, the city has known economic challenges and slowed growth. City officials took a practical, pro-active approach to readying themselves for potential activity and growth.

Increasing pressure from its citizens and Iowa DNR contributed to the urgency of this work. Increased Inflow and Infiltration and the costs for treating it, recurring basement flooding, and poor roadway conditions were just some of the symptoms of a system in need of planning, maintenance and repair.


In late 2008, city staff chose FOX Engineering to help prioritize and assess the current “hot areas” to address sanitary sewer flows that were only increasing in cost. After careful consideration and discussion, FOX recommended that the city focus on a mile of sanitary sewer along Ellis Avenue in southwest Iowa Falls. This extensive construction project would require removal and replacement of all water main, storm sewer, and roadways in the area but would begin reducing inflow and infiltration to the sanitary sewer and wastewater treatment plant as well as improve stormwater drainage and roadway drivability in the project area.

FOX communicated with staff, council, and citizens through a series of public meetings to help stakeholders understand project requirements and the affect on them. The needs of property owners adjacent to the project were evaluated through the use of mailed surveys and phone correspondence.


A public utility and roadway reconstruction project was designed that will increase the quality of life to all members of the Iowa Falls community. This project was constructed in 6 phases beginning spring 2012; it was completed fall 2013.


FOX is currently working with Iowa Falls on flow monitoring in their collection system to further identify areas of high I/I; a phased approach to this sort of work can be a practical way to continually make progress toward the goal of a healthy collection and treatment system.