The City of Ankeny's Feasibility Study is Proposing an Illegal Bridge & the MPO
Doesn't Care *
Download a detailed document discussing the
illegality & feasibility of the NE 18th
Speak no Evil-
Don't divulge the secrets of your political friends to the public.
See no Evil-
Don't acknowledge conflicts, wrongdoings or inconsistencies.
Hear No Evil-
Ignore those who alert the the public to problems.
construction of the NE 18th Overpass as proposed in the NE 18th
Feasibility Study is illegal and would violate numerous county
ordinances. According to
information contained within the NE 18th Street Feasibility study
construction would violate Polk County ordinances in subsection J,
item 4a and several items in 4d:
According to the vertical profiles in the
feasibility study fill depths in some areas of the floodplain exceed 32
feet, 27 feet over the allowed limit of 5 feet.
The cross-sectional area of the flood
plain appears to be reduced by approximately 35%, approximately 14 times
the amount allowed.
Fill will be placed within 25 feet of the
floodway which is not allowed. If Polk County were to collaborate with the
City of Ankeny on the NE 18th Street Overpass project they would have to
disregard these ordinances and ignore subsection “D” compliance.
Additionally, information contained
within the NE 18th Street Feasibility Study authorized by the City of
Ankeny, places the
proposed overpass road so close to the Scott Campbell primary residence
that it will violate county setback rules.
The house must be setback at least 50 feet from the right-of-way in Polk
right-of-way will be nearly 30 feet too close to the house.
Critical Engineering Data has not been Obtained
As indicated by the NE 18th Feasibility Study it is necessary to obtain
soil samples. From the NE 18th Feasibility Study authorized by the City of
An extensive field survey will need to be completed prior to final design
for the preferred alignment. The survey will increase accuracy for
earthwork volume calculations and provide boundary retracement for
acquisition and easement plats.
We recommend exploring an option to excavate borrow from the floodplain
area north of the proposed alignment and west of Interstate 35. This area
is in the Fourmile Creek floodway and is therefore undevelopable. One
drawback would be obtaining borrow on the east side of Interstate 35
without a long haul route. It may be necessary to have two borrow sites
for this project. The western floodway borrow site will supply material
for roadway embankment and the Interstate 35 Bridge berm west of
Interstate 35 and the eastern floodway borrow site will supply material
for the eastern road embankment and bridge abutments.
An extensive soil survey would need to be completed for the borrow area(s),
roadway corridor, and all bridge
abutments. Another recommendation is to incorporate the NE 18
Street extension with the East 1st Street and NE 36 Street IJR.
Borings are certainly required
for the bridge abutments and in areas requiring large amounts of fill, such as
the approaches. The City of Ankeny has not obtained subsurface borings at the
proposed overpass construction site on the east side of I-35 on the Scott
Campbell property. Snyder Engineering staked out locations of critical boring
samples that were required on the property at 2480 NE 102nd Avenue. All of the
requested samples were within 330 feet of the primary residence and have not
been taken. The borings are necessary for verification of the feasibility of
the project. Section 314.9 Entering Private Property of the Code of Iowa will be
strictly adhered to concerning this matter. Section 314.9 states that, “No such
soundings or drillings shall be done within twenty rods of the dwelling house or
buildings on said land without written consent of owner”.
Due to the numerous
violations of Polk County ordinances previously discussed and due to its
inability to obtain critical engineering data the City of Ankeny will not have
the power to exercise eminent domain which will be required to assure
acquisition of the necessary right-of-way for the project.
From the code
of Iowa section 6B.2C Approval of the Public Improvement
The authority to condemn is not conferred, and the condemnation proceedings
shall not commence, unless the governing body for the acquiring agency approves
the use of condemnation and there is a reasonable expectation the applicant will
be able to achieve its public purpose, comply with all applicable standards, and
obtain the necessary permits.
Section 6B.2C Approval of the Public
Improvement of the Code of Iowa shifts the burden from landowners to the
acquiring authority to prove that there is a reasonable expectation that the
acquiring authority will achieve its public
purpose, comply with all applicable standards, and obtain the necessary
permits. The sanction for failure to meet these
standards is the loss of the acquiring authority to use the power of eminent
domain. The City’s
engineering plans for the NE 18th Overpass project do not conform to
applicable standards and will violate Polk County zoning ordinances. The
property in question lies outside of the corporate limits of the City of
Finally, the NE 18th Feasibility Study includes plans for a recreational or
bicycle trail. Limitations have been placed on section 364.4 of the Iowa Code
with the passing of HF 2351. The use of eminent domain outside of the city
limits is not permitted for the construction of bicycle paths or recreational
trails. Since there is no mention of recreational trails being allowed in
eminent domain procedures in the HF 2351 amendment to 364.4 the bicycle trail
detailed in the City of Ankeny’s NE 18th Overpass project will not be allowed in
eminent domain procedures outside of the corporate limits. This would disallow
the proposed project in its current form, since Iowa code section 6B.2C would
prevent the use of eminent domain in cases where Iowa law is violated.
Moines MPO’s Obligations and Tactics
The MPO has employed the services of
attorney Jonathon Wilson in an effort to disregard and absolve themselves
of the responsibility of the issues discussed in
this webpage. Download a detailed discussion of the issues
here. Please review an annotated copy of the letter
sent by the MPO and Jonathon Wilson by clicking
here. The MPO is refusing to discuss and
resolve the issues and is more interested in expending resources by
utilizing a lawyer which has a reputation, according to many of Iowa's
citizens, of trying to withhold critical information from the public.
Jonathon Wilson is the controversial lawyer who was trying to justify the
limitation of access to public meetings and information in the CITEC
scandal. Since the MPO is intimately involved in the federal funding
process for the NE 18th Overpass project it is difficult to understand why
the MPO feels they should not be involved since they administer and
approve applications for federal funding. Please review some of the articles and comments discussing
From Statehouse Straight Talk:
"The media interest was
Wilson’s efforts to limit
legislation passed in the wake of the CIETC scandal that requires joint
government entities working under 28 E agreements to publish financial
data, including salaries, in newspapers. Mr. Wilson doesn’t believe that
the taxpayers have any right to know what CIETC and other types of joint
government agencies do with our tax dollars."
May 10, 2007 (AP):
Wilson calls the new law "ineffective, knee-jerk window-dressing" by
From the Des Moines Register:
The attorney for the Central Iowa
Employment and Training Consortium has refused to make public copies of
his law firm's bills to the government agency.
On Jan. 12, The Des Moines
Register asked CIETC for copies of bills from the law firm of Davis,
Brown, Koehn, Shors & Roberts, which employs CIETC's hired attorney,
Jonathon Wilson On Monday, Wilson responded to that request by saying he
believed all of CIETC's billing statements from his office are "attorney
work product" and thus not required to be disclosed under the Iowa Open
He told the Register that any billing statements related to litigation or
legal claims "will not be released to you absent specific authorization to
do so by the CIETC board."
Wilson said he was unable to discuss the matter with the CIETC board at
its last meeting, but said he would be willing to do so at the next
meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 15. Any board discussion over whether
to make the bills public would likely be in closed session.
Wilson said he would be willing to release copies of legal bills that
relate to nonlitigation matters such as general legal work. However, he
said those billing statements would have to be reviewed and redacted, and
the Register would have to pay "my discounted hourly rate of $210 an hour"
for that work to be done.
Typically, a private company that bills a government agency like CIETC for
its services doesn't have a say in the agency's decision to make public
the company's billing statements. But as CIETC's legal adviser, Wilson can
bill CIETC for his services and also recommend that those bills be kept
As of December, CIETC's legal fees totaled more than
$297,000, and they
currently represent the agency's biggest ongoing expense, averaging $1,200
Many of CIETC's legal expenses are tied to the agency's refusal to pay
back the state $1.5 million that it allegedly misspent on salaries. It's
expected that central Iowa taxpayers - particularly those in Polk County -
will wind up paying those legal fees.
It is my
opinion that the MPO is obligated to review the feasibility and legality of the
NE 18th Overpass project once the agency has been notified of
complicating issues. It would also be irresponsible to allow the submission of
an application for federal funding with incomplete or misleading information. I
also feel it is inappropriate for the MPO to be expending public resources to
avoid discussing the issue rather than trying to resolve the issues discussed in
this webpage before an application for STP funding is submitted. The more the
Des Moines MPO and the City of Ankeny try to avoid this matter the more the
appearance of collusion between the two parties in regards to the STP funding
process may be strengthened.
An Open Invitation to the City of Ankeny and the Des
If my allegations concerning the illegality and
feasibility of the NE 18th Overpass are incorrect, I encourage the
City of Ankeny and the Des Moines MPO to please contact me
here and provide evidence that will clarify
the issue and/or resolve the problems. I am genuinely interested in
a resolution and will correct any factual errors which can be proven to be
erroneous on this website.
Please contact the Des Moines MPO and
urge them to resolve the issues surrounding the NE 18th Overpass and not
allow the City of Ankeny to apply for federal funding for a project that
does not appear to be feasible and that proposes the illegal act of
breaking numerous county ordinances.
Contact Tom Kane at this
The Des Moines MPO Webstie can be found
Download a detailed document discussing the
illegality & feasibility of the NE 18th
* If you find any
inaccuracies please notify me through the contacts menu under Ankeny Watch