MUSCATINE — The city of Muscatine held an open house Thursday at the water treatment plant for people interested in the Grandview Avenue Corridor Revitalization Project.
"It’s really kind of an information gathering because we are still in the very preliminary stages of the proposal," said Brian Stineman, the city's public works director.
Stineman said this is a good time to be working on the project.
"Right now that street is so close to the sidewalk that it is dangerous," Stineman said. "There are a lot of uncontrolled access points from the different businesses. This would kind of help define that and help make it safer."
Thursday's open house was the first of many meetings the city has planned this year for the two-year project in 2019.
"We’re trying to get some feedback on things like the streetscape, the sidewalks, one side or both sides, how we can facilitate traffic flow on areas closer to Musser," Stineman said. "We kind of want to hear what people have to say. It’s just a chance for them to provide input at this early stage. At this early stage, we can take whatever recommendations or thoughts they have to take those back and rework our plans based on input."
The funding will come from the initial transfer of jurisdiction funds that the city received from Iowa DOT.
"That’s how we were able to fund Mississippi Drive," Stineman said. "And we will be using that funding for this as well."
The planning for the project is in its initial stages. Stineman estimated that the project would cost around $8 million to $10 million.
"But that's a ballpark number," Stineman said. "That’s why we want to get some input so we get to see what the public wants, what they don’t want."
Brett Nelson, the general manager at Musco Sports Lighting, said he was interested in seeing the plans.
"I’m very interested in what this corridor could become and what it could be for entry into the city coming from that direction,” Nelson said. “Obviously I’m a bit concerned about some specifics, like the intersections."
He expressed worries about his company's ability to get semi-trucks around after the project's completion.
Sarah Lande, a community member, said she was mostly positive about the project.
"I love it," Lande said. "I love that it will make the entrance to town more inviting. I like the roundabout."
Stineman said he is excited about what they will learn from the public comment period.
"It fits into the city’s comprehensive plan; it’s trying to provide greater services and economic boosts to what we call the Southend of town, try to stimulate development by providing greater access," Stineman said. "That’s one of the goals, to promote that area."
That said, he also is hoping people remain open-minded.
"I hope they go into it with an open mind," Stineman said. "Don’t just have preconceived notions that the city is going to ramrod this through however we want to. That’s not how we do it despite what perceptions might be. That’s why we are having these meetings. We will seriously consider it."