Over 175 Muscatine residents gathered in the Riverview Center on the evening of Tuesday, November 10 to hear representatives from the city’s engineering firm, Bolton and Menk discuss possible ideas for the upcoming Mississippi Drive Corridor Project.

Jim Harbaugh of Bolton and Menk presented several ideas for the Highway 61 business route between the HNI Corporation, along the river and down to where the road turns to Grandview Avenue.

The Mississippi River Drive Corridor Project is a cooperative effort between the city of Muscatine, Muscatine Power and Water, Canadian Pacific, Blue Zones Project and HDR.

Canadian Pacific has announced a plan to raise the train tacks along Mississippi Drive to place the tracks high enough as to avoid flooding problems.  In some spots, the tracks will be raised as much as one foot.  The roadway will be reconstructed to accommodate the high change in the tracks and to keep the railroad crossways ADA compliant.  Engineers will also be considering ways to improve drainage and assist with flooding.

Proposed ideas include a round-a-bout at the corner of Hershey and Grandview.  The proposed round-a-bout would be approximately 30 feet larger than the one located on Cedar Street and would be specifically designed with semi-truck traffic in mind.  The round-a-bout would provide a safer alternative for pedestrians crossing the street, and a more direct turn for vehicles heading towards the downtown area.

Also proposed are restructured lanes and parking along Mississippi Drive.  The topic of parking received much interest and feedback, as the idea of back in parking is new to Muscatine.  Many residents expressed apprehension of the new idea, while several others spoke in favor.  Muscatine County resident Frank Iliff spoke up in favor, “Cedar Rapids has back in parking along several bridges and roads, they operate smoothly, and they don’t disrupt traffic at all.”

Additional sidewalks for pedestrians near HNI were also proposed, to help keep the workers safe as they go between building and towards the downtown area for lunches and business.  In addition to sidewalks, the roads in that area of 2nd Street between Mulberry Avenue and the Highway 92 Bridge could possibly have the roads reconstructed to allow traffic to flow more smoothly, while taking truck traffic into account.

Residents who attended the standing room only meeting were provided an opportunity to vote in real time on several of the proposed ideas using an electronic vote.  Residents who were not able to attend the meeting, can still have their voices heard, by viewing the presentation online, and adding their comments and questions.  All input will be read as the project progresses.

A link to the presentation can be found at the Voice of Muscatine.com.