MUSCATINE, Iowa – The countdown to the reopening of Mississippi Drive is down to days instead of weeks and months. Just 16 months after the first section of Mississippi Drive was removed as part of an estimated two-year reconstruction project, the first two phases will reopen to through traffic in less than two weeks.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, at the intersection of Cedar Street and Mississippi Drive, to celebrate the completion of this portion of the Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project (MDCRP).
Mississippi Drive from Iowa to the #1 Alley on Mulberry Avenue along with the intersections at Sycamore, Cedar, and Walnut will be cleared for traffic until the end of project “punch list” is completed by prime contractor KE Flatwork, Inc. That list was compiled on Friday (Sept. 14) and the length of the list along with the weather will determine exactly when the barricades will be pulled.
“We definitely want to make sure that everything is completed and there will not be a need to close the street once again due to an issue related to this project,” Brian Stineman, Public Works Director, said.
Work on the MDCRP began in May 2017 with the first phase reopened to traffic in December 2017 although work was not 100 percent complete at that time. A subsequent closure of the street in April 2018 allowed for the completion of the leftover “punch list” items.
MISSISSIPPI DRIVE PROJECT (Iowa to Mulberry)
While it may not appear to be a lot of work yet to be completed before this section of Mississippi Drive is reopened to traffic, there are subcontractor projects yet to be completed, the street to be cleaned, and “punch list” items attended to.
Heister Masonry is working with ASI Signage to complete work on the intersection street signs and the two monuments while Heritage Landscaping is wrapping up work in the intersections and medians this week. KE Flatwork is working to complete backfilling along Phase 2 of the project before hydro seeding and placing sod.
The main work should be completed by midweek which will leave the “punch list” items to be completed before opening the street to traffic.
MISSISSIPPI DRIVE PROJECT (2nd Street Mulberry to Mad Creek)
KE Flatwork continued to pave the Oak Street intersection this week, completing the main lines from the railroad crossing west toward Orange along with the north and south wings of the intersection. Concrete work is anticipated to be completed by this weekend or early next week with the pouring of the turning lane, middle lane, and sidewalks at the intersection.
Next up would be the installation of the traffic signals at the intersection by Muscatine Power & Water and that could begin as early as Sept. 24. A lane on the north side of the street from the railroad crossing to the Family Dollar entrance also needs to be completed before the intersection is opened. That opening is tentatively set for October 1.
The final piece of the MDCRP, from Family Dollar to Mad Creek is expected to be completed by November 13. Once all sub-contractor work and “punch list” items are completed, the street will be reopened and complete the Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction project … at least for now.
WEST HILL PHASE 4A
KMA Excavating has reached the point where they cannot do anymore underground work until repaving of 7th Street from Iowa to Locust has been completed. The intersections with Chestnut, Pine, and Linn are currently closed while KMA Excavating has been coring out and placing rock down on the four block stretch. The intersections were expected to be cored out and rocked this weekend with KE Flatwork starting to trim, string, and pave the four blocks and three intersections starting on Monday, Sept. 17.
Once this section of 7th Street is reopened to traffic, KMA will return to complete Phase 4A of the West Hill Sewer Separation Project underground work on Locust Street. The tentative schedule has KE Flatwork completing all paving work by early November.
Plans for the roundabout at the intersection of Mulberry Avenue and 2nd Street are in the final stages of completion. The roundabout was taken out of the MDCRP but is an important part of the streetscape project. Delays to the acquisition of property needed to build the roundabout are being addressed and it is anticipated that the roundabout will be among several projects for the 2019 construction season.