PHOTOS: Solution in place for protruding basement at Batterson Building

The east end of the Batterson Building basement protruded underneath the sidewalk nearly halfway to 2nd Street, but a plan developed by a structural engineer was quickly implemented and progress continues on the 2nd Street Streetscape Project.

Many such basements, or vaults, have been found along the six-block section of Second Street that is part of the Second Street Streetscape Project.

How to make these old basement or vault walls stable enough when the old concrete is removed and replaced with new concrete has been the topic of discussion during the design and implementation phases of the project.

The first opportunity came this week in the 300 block of East 2nd Street as the contractor for the 2nd Street Streetscape Project, KE Flatworks, Inc., began to remove and replace the sidewalk.

With the old concrete removed, six sections of the Batterson Building basement were exposed for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century, or more. Lucas Kluever, owner of KE Flatworks, Inc., called upon Muscatine City Engineers Jim Edgmond and Pat Lynch, and a structural engineer from Bolton and Menk, the designers of the project, to investigate and come up with a plan.

That was Monday. By Tuesday, Kluever had Seth Woods and his Woods Construction team on site and framing up walls to support the new concrete sidewalk. By the end of the day on Tuesday, the work had been completed … new, stronger walls, a thick plywood top nailed securely, and water proof membrane over the top.

With the basement situation solved, KE Flatwork, Inc., resumed sidewalk replacement beginning with a six inch, reinforced concrete layer (much like a bridge deck) over the Batterson Building basement.

Work on sidewalk replacement will continue west on the north side of the street to the Cedar Street intersection, and then the south side will be removed and replaced.

The Cedar Street intersection is also seeing a lot of work as KE Flatworks has replaced the sidewalk on the west side of Cedar Street from the intersection to just short of the #3 Alley, and are prepping the southwest corner for concrete.

Work remains on schedule with the current plan to complete work on 2nd Street and a portion of Cedar to reopen the intersection before finishing work on Cedar Street up to the #2 Alley.

Kluever, Public Works staff, and City project managers have been meeting with business owners in the 300 block of East 2nd Street each Friday to update them on the progress and coordinate sidewalk replacement that might hinder access to their business. A tentative schedule for sidewalk replacement was created from consultation with business owners and, so far, the schedule has been maintained.

Once work in this area is completed (anticipated for July 4, weather permitting), KE Flatwork will move down to the 200 block of East 2nd Street to begin sidewalk replacement. Tentative plans call for one side to be completed at a time and one lane of traffic maintained for access to businesses. However, this section also includes the removal and replacement of the Sycamore Street intersection.

— City of Muscatine

This story originally appeared on the Voice of Muscatine. Read More local stories here.

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