SW 9th Project Completed Flawlessly Overnight



During the night of May 23, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa, SW 9th Street just north of Army Post Road was shut down. This was done to install a sanitary sewer service and a water service for the new QuikTrip Store that is being constructed on the NE corner of that intersection. The sanitary sewer and water service were installed in a seven-foot-wide trench, the paving was removed, the pipe was installed, the road was backfilled, then it was covered with steel plates and opened to traffic. Most construction projects of this caliber are done in phases and take nearly two weeks to complete. However, McAninch Corporation was able to conquer it overnight in just twelve busy hours.


Streamlining a job like this requires over a month of planning prior to starting. Coordination with multiple people, from various city departments, is a necessity to completing a construction project like this successfully. First, permission from the City of Des Moines Street Department had to be gained in order to close the road at night. Then once the closure design was approved, it had to be sent to the Street Department as well. The City of Des Moines Plumbing Department was contacted next to ensure inspection was available at night. Finally, Des Moines Water Works needed to be on board with the project in order to tap the water line at night.


With any construction job of this importance, a few problems arose during the process. Although there was only one phone line to work around, there ended up being two water lines. This caused a slight delay in determining the correct water line to be tapped. While digging through the road, an existing water main, duct bank, and a 100 pair phone line had to be dug under. Another problem was that it rained for over half of the night, but McAninch managed to work through it and finish the task on time. On the other hand, a key aspect that did not cause a problem due to careful attention was compliance with all rules and regulations. An example of this was that all backfill in Des Moines, IA had to be filled with manufactured sand so all of the grains were the same size. This ensured that the trench would be compacted correctly.


In order to succeed at such a daunting task overnight, certain modifications to the normal process had to be made. Typically, one lane at a time would be worked on in order to keep traffic moving through the construction zone. Each lane would have taken at least two days with the workers having to backfill, then lay plates, and finally pave. Being that there were five traffic lanes to dig through, this would have taken multiple weeks to complete. The ability to work overnight allowed McAninch Corporation to multitask and remarkably complete everything in twelve hours.



  • May 23, 6:00 P.M.- Closed SW 9th Street and removed the paving where the excavation would occur
  • 8:00 P.M.- Started digging down for the sanitary sewer
  • 10:30 P.M.- Placed a trench box in the excavation and made the sanitary sewer connection to the existing sewer main, then laid the sanitary sewer across SW 9th Street to the jobsite and started backfilling the trench
  • May 24, 1:30 A.M.- Came back to the water main, placed a trench box, then had it tapped and ran the water line across SW 9th Street to the jobsite making the connection
  • 4:00 A.M.- Started backfilling the rest of the road, then set plates over the road where the excavation was
  • 6:00 A.M.- Set the last plate and reopened the road for traffic