Downtown Muscatine business owners and concerned citizens packed the Muscatine City Council Chambers Thursday afternoon to hear the City’s plans for the upcoming downtown Streetscaping Improvement Project on 2nd Street.
Representatives from Bolton & Menk consultants presented plans for beautification, new curb & gutter, street resurfacing, parking, signage and streetscaping intended to help turn Muscatine’s downtown shopping district into a more shopper-friendly experience.
The project, expected to begin next spring, will employ plans to minimize the impact on 2nd Street businesses during the construction process. According to a Bolton & Menk spokesperson, the goal is to close one side of the street, in each block at a time to ensure the street is never ‘closed’ to traffic. Business owners were told construction should take about three weeks per side per block to complete, and construction on intersections will each take about 4 weeks. The project plans to begin construction at the corner of 2nd and Pine Streets and work east to completion at 2nd Street & Mulberry Avenue.
In addition to the streetscaping beautification, one significant construction element is to remove the mid-block pedestrian crossings on each block to add 2 additional parking stalls per block on each side of the street.
Many in attendance wondered about parking and signage in downtown when the project is complete.
City Council Member Kelcey Brackett said, “It’s no that we don’t have enough parking downtown, but rather people may not fully understand where to go for available parking.”
The consultants assured the audience signage will be greatly improved to include gateway, regulatory and directional signs.
Most in attendance left the meeting with a positive feeling about the project. Downtown business owner and resident, Marc Wallace said, “we’ll simply need to experience some short-term inconvenience for long-term gain.”
For more information and detailed plans, visit the city’s website. https://www.muscatineiowa.gov