MUSCATINE, Iowa – Concrete work on the West Side Trail has been completed, or at least gone as far as they can for the present time, with several other projects making significant progress in recent weeks.
Response to the State of Iowa guidelines on COVID-19 has reduced traffic flow significantly in Muscatine and throughout the state and that prompted City officials to move ahead with work in the Houser-Cedar intersection.
“With the low traffic count and school being closed it was just the perfect time to work on this intersection,” Pat Lynch, assistant city engineer, said.
The pavement restoration at Houser and Cedar intersection is the final segment to be completed under the 2019 Full Depth Patch Program. The work was originally scheduled to be included in the 2020 contract. Work in the intersection began March 31 and is expected to last until April 17, weather permitting.
The 2019 Full Depth Patching Project included work on North Houser Street, South Houser Street, University Drive, Lake Park Boulevard, and several “emergency” patches at various locations throughout Muscatine.
The 2020 projects will be sent out for bid later this spring. The Full Depth Patch project will be smaller than this past year as the city will focus on hot mix asphalt overlays of a number of street sections and alleys in 2020.
West Side Trail
Heuer Construction has completed the West Side Trail project concrete work from Hershey to Crossroads, Inc., with only a section running through the Arbor Commons development yet to be competed. The contractor is currently focusing on installation of sub drain behind the retaining walls from Hershey to Lucas, and cleaning up between the trail and the curb before backfilling, hydro seeding, and finishing landscaping.
The trail through the Arbor Commons subdivision will be completed once pavement work in that development has been completed.
Mulberry-2nd Street Roundabout
Most of the underground work on The Mulberry Avenue-2nd Street Roundabout Project has been completed with the contractor working on grading for the next few weeks before the area is proof rolled and rock added. Pavement restoration is tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-April with the project wrapping up by the end of May, depending on the weather.
Mulberry Avenue is currently closed from the #1 Alley to 3rd Street and 2nd Street is closed from Mulberry Avenue to Orange Street. Eastbound traffic on Mississippi Drive is detoured at Iowa Avenue to 5th Street to Park Avenue. The detour will remain in effect until the project is completed.
2nd Street Streetscape Project
The 2nd Street Streetscape Project will begin on Monday, April 13, with work between Sycamore and Walnut Streets. The main priority in this area will be the replacement of sanitary and storm sewers. Cedar Street will be closed at the #2 alley through the intersection with 2nd Street and 2nd Street will be closed from the Cedar intersection to just short of the Walnut Street intersection. Work in this area is expected to last until the end of May.
Additional work in this area is depending on the progress of the Mulberry and 2nd Street roundabout with some sewer work and pavement replacement expected on 2nd Street from Walnut to the Roundabout.
The 2nd Street Project is comprised of sidewalk, roadway, utility, and streetscape construction on 2nd Street from Mulberry Avenue to Pine Street. Construction primarily includes pavement removal, excavation, concrete sidewalks, concrete roadway paving, underground utility improvements, concrete pavers, and streetscape amenities.
The Muscatine City Council awarded the $2.9 million contract for the 2nd Street Streetscape Project to KE Flatwork, Inc., of Elbridge, Iowa, at the February 6, 2020, City Council meeting. KE Flatwork, Inc., was the lowest of four bidders for the two-year project.
West Hill Sewer Separation Phase 4C
Phase 4C of the West Hill Sanitary and Storm Sewer Separation Project (WHSSSSP) began March 16 with underground work for the first stage (Iowa Avenue from 8th to 9th Street and 9th Street from Iowa Avenue to Chestnut Street) completed. Several individual resident water services were to be connected in the next week before pavement restoration begins. Once this work is done, the contract will move to the second stage starting at Linn and 8th Street and working toward Broadway.
Sewer separation and pavement restoration work will also be undertaken on Maiden Lane and Roscoe Avenue, Linn Street from 7th to 8th Street, and on 8th Street from Linn to Broadway. The detour for Phase 4C will be implemented once work begins on 8th Street with regular traffic detoured to 7th Street from Cedar to Broadway. The 7th Street detour will be modified once underground work reaches the Broadway intersection on 8th Street.
Park Avenue Three Lane Conversion Project
The Park Avenue Four-to-Three Lane Conversion Project is scheduled for the 2020 construction year. The project will convert Park Avenue from four-lanes to three (two traffic lanes with a center turn lane) from Harrison Street to the Mad Creek bridge. A June 16, 2020, bid letting is planned with more details on the project released after that date. No detours are planned during the work but there will be lane restrictions.
Alley Asphalt Overlay Project
The 2019-2020 Alley Asphalt Overlay Project will begin once the asphalt plants reopen for the 2020 construction season. A total of 11 alley segments are on the list for asphalt overlay. The proposed alleys are: 400 block of Busch Street; Grover and Charles (New Hampshire to Hershey); Salvation Army at Oregon and Illinois (Earl to Baker); Bond and Bleeker (Grandview to Liberty); Iowa and Sycamore (East 9th to East 10th along with East 10th to East 11th); Taylor and Clinton (New Hampshire to Hershey); Hawthorne and Washington (Orchard to Park); Hagerman and Lorenz (Terrace H eights to Roscoe); 4th Street Park alley (Locust between 3rd and 4th streets); and Pine and Linn (3rd to 4th streets). Plans for the 2020-2021 Alley Asphalt Overlay Project and the 2020-2021 Street Asphalt Overlay Project are being developed and should go out for bid later this Spring.
The Mississippi River has not surpassed moderate flood stage as yet but that may change by Wednesday as the National Weather Service forecasts the river rising to 18.5 feet by next Wednesday. The river is currently at 17.21 feet and has been above flood stage since March 24 and reached 17.66 feet on April 1. The National Weather Service predicts that the river will remain in food stage (between 16- and 18-feet) for the rest of April before dropping below flood stage in May.
On April 3, 2019, the river was at 20.41 feet. It was during 2019 that the river surpassed flood stage on March 16 and spent the next 99 consecutive days above flood state (16-feet), a record for Muscatine.