MUSCATINE, Iowa – All but one block of the reconstructed portion of Mississippi Drive will be closed to through traffic during a two week period in April according to Jim Edgmond, City of Muscatine engineer.
“The section of Mississippi Drive from just downstream of Chestnut to just upstream of Broadway will be closed from April 16 to April 27,” Edgmond said. “This will be due to some utility, decorative paving, and landscaping work needed to complete the project in that section of the roadway.”
The April 27 date is dependent on the weather, however, and may be extended if rain delays the work schedule.
City officials plan to meet with affected business owners and other interested residents in a meeting scheduled for 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 29, at Contrary Brewing.
Certain elements in the first two phases of the Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project (MDCR) were unfinished when the section from Broadway to Iowa Avenue was opened to traffic on Dec. 8, 2017. Among the elements were the street lighting in the median between Pine and Broadway streets, landscaping elements (plantings and brick work) between Linn and Broadway streets, street monument work between Iowa Avenue and Broadway Street, and final cleanup and the completion of any other punch list items.
One of the areas to be repaired is at the intersection of Pine and Mississippi Drive where semi-truck drivers have been using Pine Street to access Mississippi Drive and are unable to make the turn without running over the landscaping.
“Pine Street is not meant for truck traffic and truck traffic was not supposed to use Pine Street to access Mississippi Drive during this process,” Bill Haag, project manager, said. “The damage done so far is repairable but these drivers have been getting too close to the fire hydrant.”
The improper use of side streets, such as Pine, by truck drivers should be diminished greatly once Mississippi Drive is completed later this summer.
“The Iowa Avenue intersection will remain open as will the Chestnut Street intersection,” Haag said. “The hard close will be at Chestnut Street with the Pine Street and Linn Street intersections also closed.”
The detour during the two-week road closure will be to use Main Street to West and East 8th Street to Mulberry Avenue.
“This is the same detour we had in place last summer,” Edgmond said.
Edgmond also noted that the City will maintain a detour route to access Contrary Brewing, the Nutrition Outlet, and other affected businesses. To access these locations, drivers will need to use Pine Street to the #1 Alley and then to Linn Street.
The Iowa Avenue intersection will remain open as will the crossing into Riverside Park.
“There will be a loop available throughout this process of turning off of Iowa Avenue onto Mississippi Drive and then turning onto Chestnut to return to 2nd Street,” Edgmond said.
Meanwhile, work on Phase III of the MDCR made significant progress over the winter with the sanitary sewer line and the water main line already completed from Sycamore Street to Mulberry Avenue. Work on the storm sewer is well underway and K.E. Flatworks will be installing the duct bank in April.
Haag also noted that the drilling company will be back in Muscatine on March 19 and begin drilling the foundations for the traffic light standards at the Cedar Street intersection on March 20.
“You don’t know what the river will do during the springtime but we have made significant progress that has put us, at least temporarily, ahead of schedule,” Haag said.
Bolton & Menk, Inc., is making progress on the design for the Mulberry Avenue-2nd Street roundabout with that work expected to be awarded later this spring. The final portion of the MDCR is 2nd Street from Mulberry Avenue out to the Highway 92 bridge which is scheduled to be completed by Thanksgiving 2018.