MUSCATINE, Iowa – The Mississippi River crested at 18.67 feet earlier this month but that did not slow down the progress along the Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project. The rising river did throw off the schedule for the 2nd Street reconstruction, however.
MISSISSIPPI DRIVE (Sycamore to Mulberry)
KE Flatwork has paved the majority of the eastbound and westbound lanes of Mississippi Drive from Mulberry to Sycamore this past week with a section of the westbound lane from Walnut to Mulberry expected to be poured today (May 25), depending on the weather. Work also continued on the tie in connections at Sycamore and Cedar Street along with prepping the short section of Mulberry Avenue for paving in the next two weeks.
The revised tentative schedule has the rock, paving, and sidewalks completed by July 27 with landscaping, signage, and cleanup completed by September 28. The reconstructed Mississippi Drive should reopen to traffic shortly after that pending completion of punch list items found during the final walk through 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.
2ND STREET (Mulberry to Mad Creek)
Underground work on 2nd Street from Orange Street to just west of Oak Street has been completed with that section now being prepared for paving by KE Flatwork. Some tile and conduit work must be completed before the actual paving begins, and it is anticipated that this section of the street will be completed by June 22. However, the section will remain closed to most vehicular traffic as the rest of 2nd Street east to Mad Creek is completed.
The closure of 2nd Street from east of the Oak Street intersection to just west of the Family Dollar entrance is tentatively scheduled for June 11. KE Flatwork has contracted with a company to bore underneath the railroad tracks near the Oak Street intersection and the exact closure of this section is depending on when the company can be on site. This section of the street is tentatively scheduled to be completed on September 18.
Once the bore has been completed, the intersection at 2nd and Oak will be closed for reconstruction with a tentative completion date of October 1. KE Flatwork anticipates closing the final section of the 2nd Street project (2nd Street east of Family Dollar to Mad Creek) on May 24 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.
Negotiations on the acquisition of certain properties along the right-of-way needed for the roundabout at the Mulberry-2nd Street intersection has stalled this portion of the Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project. The roundabout design is 95 percent complete but city officials stress that the project is on hold at the present time. Officials hope that the property issues can be resolved in a timely manner and the project can be presented to the Muscatine City Council for approval soon. Once Council approves the roundabout, the project will be let out for bids.
There is still a slim window of opportunity to have the roundabout constructed in the 2018 construction season but that window is quickly closing. Depending on the property acquisition timeline, the project may occur over the winter or be part of the 2019 construction season.
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.
MISSISSIPPI DRIVE (Chestnut to Broadway)
Video surveillance and cleaning of the sewer system along Mississippi Drive up to the Sycamore Street intersection is nearly complete with a punch list of items being addressed by prime contractor KE Flatwork and underground contractor KMA Excavating.
LINN STREET CLOSURE
Muscatine Power & Water (MPW) will be closing Linn Street on June 1 from Mississippi Drive to the entrance to the #1 alley on Pine Street for underground electrical work that will connect the underground cabling along Mississippi Drive with the substation. The work is expected to take six weeks to complete with a tentative date of July 17 for reopening Linn Street and the #1 Alley.
7TH STREET (Cedar to Locust)
Work on Phase 4A (7th Street) of the West Hill Sewer Separation Project completed its fourth week and has moved past the Iowa Avenue intersection. KMA Excavating began working in the 200 block of East 7th Street on April 30 and has now moved into the 100 block of West 7th Street. Phase 4A includes 7th Street from Cedar to Locust and the 700 blocks of Locust and Spruce.
With underground work completed in the 100 and 200 blocks of East 7th Street and the Sycamore and Iowa Avenue intersections, KE Flatwork will begin the process of preparing the completed sections for paving. The paving of this segment will begin in June with a tentative date of July 1 to reopen the intersections and these two blocks of 7th Street to traffic, but that depends on the weather and any issues that might arise during preparation of the base.
Drivers are reminded that the intersections of Iowa Avenue and Chestnut Street are closed and alternate routes should be planned and utilized. Drivers are also reminded that the Chestnut Street intersection will be closed in the next 2-4 weeks as work moves up the 7th Street hill. Signage will be put in place and the City will announce when the closings occur.
The separation work will be accomplished on a block-by-block basis throughout the summer and fall of 2018. Parking will be allowed on the portions of the street unaffected by the separation work until crews from KMA Excavating begin the sewer separation work in specific blocks.
KE Flatwork, Inc., of Elbridge, Iowa, was awarded the $6.1 million contract for Phase IV of the West Hill Sewer Separation Project at the April 5, 2018 Muscatine City Council meeting. The contract spans three years with work completed in three phases.
Phase 4A 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.