MUSCATINE, Iowa – The Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project will be the topic of discussion Thursday as the City of Muscatine hosts a Q&A session for City Council members and the general public at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers. The special session of the Council will be also be available on the City of Muscatine YouTube Channel.
Constituents of several council members have asked questions about the project and City staff agreed to give a presentation of and answer questions about the project. Members of the project team along with engineers from Bolton & Menk will be on hand for the presentation Thursday.
“This has always been a two-year project,” Gregg Mandsager, City Administrator, said, “and the project is not done yet. We encourage residents to wait until the project is completed and then you will see the benefits of the design.”
Mandsager also noted that this project is the result of the city’s largest ever public engagement process. Citizens were involved in the planning stages of the project by attending the many public meetings to ask questions and propose alternative solutions.
The informational meeting will feature a presentation that will review all the data gathered from the public outreach during the course of the pre-construction studies, a reminder of just what the vision for the project was and is, and a reminder that this is still a construction zone. A question and answer period will be held after the presentation.
“As always the City stands ready to answer any citizens’ question,” Mandsager said. “We welcome this opportunity for the council and the public to hear the answers from those who were most involved in the process.”
The Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project has been in development for almost 20 years. Initial discussion came in the early 2000s with the Riverside Park renovations and gathered steam when Canadian Pacific raised the railroad profile in July 2014 as the Mississippi River continued to rise well above flood stage. Another development came later in 2014 when the City was able to successfully negotiate the transfer of jurisdiction of the old U.S. 61 route from the state to the City.
Public input was sought through a series of meetings in 2015 and 2016 on the design for replacing a roadway that could not be repaired and had to be replaced within the parameters placed on the design by the federal government. That input was incorporated into the final design which was approved by the Muscatine City Council early in 2017.
The most favored replacement for the old roadway was a two-lane street with a median to divide the driving lanes filled with plantings and pavers incorporating the desires to create a gateway into the community, slow down traffic, increase pedestrian safety, and enhance the connection between the river front and downtown Muscatine.
The meeting Thursday comes as the first two phases of the project (Iowa to Pine and Pine to Broadway) are being completed, and the third phase (Iowa to Mulberry) is well underway. The Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction project is scheduled to be completed by the end of November 2018.