MUSCATINE, Iowa – City officials and the general contractor are pleased with the progress of the Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project but both know that there is a long road (pardon the pun) ahead before the project is completed. Mother Nature is not always kind to outdoor construction projects and delays on one site may mean delays on another.
KE Flatwork has completed most of the major pours for Mississippi Drive with a section of the Mulberry Avenue intersection yet to be poured, and 2nd Street from Orange to Oak is scheduled for paving next week. In addition, KE Flatwork is coordinating the paving on Phase 4A of the West Hill Sewer Separation Project on 7th Street. That paving, from Iowa to Cedar, is also expected to begin next week.
100 BLOCK OF LINN STREET CLOSED FOR SIX WEEKS
The 100 block of Linn Street is currently closed to through traffic at the intersection with the #1 Alley but is now open for parking. Triple B Construction has been completing underground electrical work that will connect the underground cabling along Mississippi Drive with the substation for Muscatine Power & Water (MPW). The work is tentatively scheduled to be completed by July 17.
2ND STREET (Mulberry to Mad Creek)
The first section of 2nd Street to be reconstructed as part of the Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project (MDCRP) is nearing completion but that does not mean the section will be open for through traffic anytime soon.
KE Flatwork has finished the repaving from Orange Street to just west of the Oak Street intersection including installation of new sidewalks. Crews will be busy through the weekend cleaning the section which should open to local traffic only on Monday afternoon depending on the weather.
Meanwhile Iowa Trenchless completed the bore underneath the railroad crossing for the storm sewer with KMA Excavating working on extending that sewer system toward Mad Creek. Crews will also be removing the old pavement from the railroad crossing east toward Family Dollar in preparation for other underground work and eventual repaving of this section of 2nd Street in August.
With the opening of the Orange Street intersection, KE Flatwork plans to close the Oak Street intersection on July 16 for reconstruction. The intersection is estimated to be closed for two months.
Limited access to 2nd Street will remain throughout the construction process.
KE Flatwork anticipates closing the final section of the 2nd Street project (2nd Street east of Family Dollar to Mad Creek) on October 1 with a tentative completion date of November 12.
A final walk through and completion of punch list along the reconstructed section of 2nd Street will be the last step before the street is reopened to all traffic in mid-November.
MISSISSIPPI DRIVE (Sycamore to Mulberry)
The major pours on Mississippi Drive are complete with KE Flatwork now working to prepare the medians for brickwork and landscaping. Work on the Cedar Street railroad crossing has been delayed as engineers at Bolton & Menk work with Canadian Pacific to resolve issues concerning sidewalk installation.
The tentative schedule has all concrete work, including sidewalks, completed by July 27. Landscaping, brickwork, and installation of signage will follow and take approximately two months.
The revised tentative schedule has reconstructed Mississippi Drive open to traffic at the end of September pending completion of punch list items found during final inspection by City of Muscatine project managers and KE Flatwork officials.
City officials note that although the work appears to be slightly ahead of schedule, changes in the weather could delay the completion date. Mississippi Drive from Iowa to the #1 Alley on Mulberry Avenue will remain closed to traffic until all subcontractors (landscaping, brick work, signage, etc.) have completed their work.
The roundabout at the Mulberry-2nd Street intersection is on hold at the present time. The roundabout design will be completed soon and ready for presentation to the City Council at the appropriate time.
City officials and project managers have been meeting with business owners affected by the 2nd Street work and those who would be affected by the roundabout project to listen to and address any concerns they would have. The next business owners meeting is set for July 19 in the lower level conference room at Muscatine City Hall.
7TH STREET (Cedar to Locust)
As promised, the Iowa Avenue intersection is now open to traffic before the Fourth of July holiday. KMA Excavating and KE Flatwork completed the reconstruction of the intersection this past week and both entities are currently working on repaving 7th Street from Iowa to Cedar.
Curb and gutter for the north side of the two blocks from Iowa to Cedar has been completed with KE Flatwork expected to complete the south side over the weekend. Full width pouring of the two block sections will also occur next week. The Sycamore Street intersection will be closed for repaving once the two block sections are completed. That closure is anticipated for July 6 depending on the weather.
KMA Excavating continues to work on separating the sewer system from Chestnut to Pine and anticipates closing the Pine Street intersection on July 9 for three days. Once work moves past the Pine Street intersection work will begin to prepare the two blocks from Iowa to Pine for repaving later in July.
The Sycamore and Chestnut Street remain open with a temporary surface but will be closed when work begins to repave the intersections. Drivers are urged to seek alternate routes around the construction area. Drivers are also reminded that the 200 block of West 7th Street is closed and the Pine Street intersection will be closed when underground work reaches the intersection.
Phase 4A includes 7th Street from Cedar to Locust and the 700 blocks of Locust and Spruce. Work began on the project April 30, 2018, and is expected to be completed by November 30, 2018.
THE CONES OF DETOUR
Two detours were established for drivers to use as work progresses on 2nd Street. To bypass the construction work on 2nd Street drivers are urged to use 5th Street from Park Avenue to Mulberry Avenue (no trucks allowed on 5th Street from Park Avenue to Cypress) or use Washington Street from Park Avenue to Cypress then to 8th Street to Mulberry (truck traffic allowed).
In two areas (the intersection of Cypress and Washington and the intersection of 5th and Mulberry) cones have been set in the roadway. The cones divide a turning lane in half and keep traffic down to one lane. This, along with no parking signs on Mulberry approaching 5th Street, was set up to allow for larger vehicles with larger turning radius to be able to make the turn without damaging other vehicles or public property.
Drivers are asked to be cautious at these intersections and be alert to larger vehicles attempting to turn from one street to another.