Transportation Signature - CODAworx

Transportation Signature


Client: Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART)

Location: Des Moines, IA, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $235,000

Project Team


David Dahlquist

RDG Dahlquist Art Studio


Elizabeth Presutti

Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART)


Jim Dawson

Iowa Metal Fabrication

Lighting Design

RDG Planning & Design

Graphic Design

RDG Planning & Design


Brad Stork

Saul Engineering


Commonwealth Electric


Entitled “Transportation Signature,” the integrated public art installation is a dynamic wall over 180’ long by 9’ high that separates the new DART (Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority) multi-modal facility and the adjacent rail line.
Constructed of layers of high-performance painted steel, stainless-steel and interior LED lighting, the wall has become a new Southern Gateway to the city and cultural landmark.


The installation is based on a dramatic transformation from 2-dimensional graphic to 3-dimensional sculptural relief. The artist worked with transportation to use a bus during driver training to spell “Des Moines” in script after a snowfall. The lines are the width of a bus tire and separated by the width of the wheels. This innovative process involved all facets of the project in order to integrate a story about the artwork into the new facility. The installation went beyond the functional concerns of safety barrier to become an iconic feature of the new facility and entrance to the city.


The concept was developed through numerous public input meetings and refined through a multi-disciplinary collaboration with the City, architects, engineers, fabricators and installers.