Muscatine area residents met at the Riverview Center on Tuesday evening to hear preliminary design ideas for the upcoming Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project. Designers and Engineers presented ideas where meeting goers voted on their preferences. The project is now entering the Final design stage that is anticipated to take place between June and September.
The entire project will run from Grandview Avenue and Main Street, through the intersection known as Carver Corner, along Mississippi Drive and through the corner of Mulberry Avenue and Second Street. The project has been divided into four main components for the design portion of the project.
The Carver Corner area, at the intersection of Hershey Avenue, Grandview Avenue and Green Street. The first potential design presented was a roundabout concept. The roundabout would be large enough to accommodate truck traffic, as well as have a green space in the center to be able to serve as a gateway area for the community.
The second idea presented for the Carver Corner area was a gradual curve that would include a lighted intersection. According to Jim Harbaugh, of Bolton & Menke, the cost of the regulated intersection would be approximately $500,000 more than the roundabout design.
The second area of the design would be what the area along the bluff where the street is residential. The design along this section of the road would include two clear lanes of traffic, with a divider in between the two.
Moving into the downtown area, designers are looking at new ways to provide more parking, increase the safety of pedestrian traffic, while improving aesthetics. Including a divider in between the lanes will create what are referred to as pedestrian refuges, which make crossing the wide street safer. Added to the dividers between the lanes, which is a natural way to reduce traffic speeds, crossing Mississippi Drive would be easier for downtown shoppers and visitors to the river front.
The final portion of the design will include the corner of Mulberry Avenue and 2nd Street. The first proposed idea is a large roundabout designed to accommodate truck traffic. The design would include the gateway option in the center. The footprint of the roundabout is larger than the existing intersection, so the city would have to acquire addition land.
The second option for this intersection is an improved version of the existing intersection. The same as the proposed roundabout at the other end of the project, placing a roundabout at this intersection would be approximately $300,000 less expensive than a regulated intersection.
The construction of the project is scheduled to begin in 2017.