MUSCATINE, Iowa – The City of Muscatine will be closing South Houser Street from Lucas Street to Hershey Avenue for approximately one week starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Traffic will be rerouted to the U.S. 61 Bypass.
Road closed signs will be put in place by Department of Public Works (DPW) staff Tuesday morning but detour signs are not available at the present time.
“Unfortunately, with the flooding, we do not have enough signs to post the detour route,” DPW Director Brian Stineman said.
The closure was originally planned for later this week to safely remove trees and branches from the west side of the roadway that had been cut down in March as part of the Westside Trail project. The City will take advantage of the closure, which will last approximately a week, to dry and repair some of the many potholes located on the roadway.
With a 118 team soccer tournament scheduled for the Muscatine Soccer Complex this weekend, Stineman hopes to have the section back open by the end of work on Friday. However, that schedule is dependent on the weather.
“We would like to use hot mix to fill the potholes which is a more permanent fix than just using cold mix,” Stineman said. “But the holes need to be dry and it may take some time to complete this task.”
This section of South Houser Street has seen multiple attempts to patch the potholes with cold patch without success due to the wet weather.
“Unfortunately, due to the excessive amounts of recent rainfall the ground is saturated and water continues to flow down the hill,” Stineman said. “The water erodes the patching material placed in the holes and does not allow the patch to properly set up, which makes the patching process mostly ineffective.”
The tree debris will be taken to the Compost Site at the City of Muscatine Transfer and Recycling Center where it will be available to the public for firewood on a first come, first served basis. Residents who want the firewood must register at the Transfer and Recycling Center office before cutting and/or removing the wood.
This Houser Hill section of South Houser Street will see a lot of work over the next year starting with the closure this week to remove the trees debris and the significant effort to safely patch as many potholes as possible. The street will also be the first project for the 2019-2020 Full Depth Patching Project with work expected to begin in July. The contract for the Full Depth Patching Project is on the agenda to be approved by the Muscatine City Council at their Thursday (June 6) meeting.
Details of the Full Depth Patching Project will be announced after the schedule is set.
In conjunction with the Houser Street work, Fletcher Avenue, in the area known as Miller’s Hill, was closed for hot mix patching last Friday (May 30). The area has been closed twice so far this spring due to a mud slide and a fallen tree, but has also deteriorated due to the wet weather.