The City of Muscatine was awarded a $2 million grant to support planning for the Developing Connection: Isett Avenue and Cypress Street Reconstruction project. The award from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) was announced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Tuesday, August 9.
“We would like to thank Sen. Grassley for his support of our application,” Muscatine Mayor Brad Bark said. “This is a major project that will improve the transportation infrastructure, safety for the traveling public including pedestrians, and promote future residential and commercial development in this area.”
The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant provides 100 percent funding to begin planning for the rebuilding of approximately 1.7 miles of Isett Avenue and Cypress Street from the U.S. Hwy 61 Bypass to 5th Street in Muscatine. The goal of the reconstruction is to attain the neighborhood’s vision of a safe, reliable, attractive corridor that enhances the quality of life, opportunities, and connectivity of all who interact with it.
The project also aligns with two of the focus areas of the City of Muscatine Strategic Plan including a safe community and reliable public infrastructure.
Once the City receives the award packet from the State of Iowa, staff will begin working on the state’s checklist for using the grant including presenting the grant to the Muscatine City Council for approval. Once the grant is accepted, City staff will prepare and issue a Request for Qualifications for potential consultants to complete. The City anticipates having a consultant selected by the end of 2022 with the study and planning phase in the first half of 2023. The design phase will take up to a year and a half to complete.
The City of Muscatine anticipates applying for a RAISE construction grant for the project that is estimated to cost $18-$20 million (in current dollars).
The Muscatine planning project includes a full traffic study, environmental assessment, brownfield assessment, public involvement process, topographical survey, right of way determination, design and full construction plans for the Isett Avenue/Cypress Street Corridor. Potential improvements to the corridor could include four-to-three-lane conversion, three new roundabouts, bridge repair and raising, addition of sidewalks, extension of a multi-use trail, improved storm-water management, sanitary sewer and water main replacement and landscaping.
The City of Muscatine noted in their grant application that this stretch of Isett Avenue/Cypress Street presented several safety and connectivity challenges for Muscatine including:
- Decaying infrastructure that creates unsafe conditions for all types of travelers, and will not sustain the residential and commercial growth that is possible for this area;
- Congestion and inefficiencies with commercial traffic; and,
- Lack of connectivity for travelers of all kinds, especially pedestrians.
Nearly $25 million in overall grant funding has been awarded to the cities of Dubuque, Muscatine and Waterloo to help complete roadway, bridge, wastewater management and other related projects the USDOT announced today (Aug. 9). The grant program was continued in the bipartisan infrastructure law supported by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), which is now directly benefiting and improving communities across Iowa.
“After urging USDOT to support funding for these infrastructure projects, I’m glad these communities have officially been awarded the grants needed to begin construction,” Grassley said. “These updates and improvements will benefit Iowans in Dubuque, Muscatine and Waterloo for decades to come. I supported the bipartisan infrastructure law to invest in Iowans and Iowa’s economy and ensure more of Iowans’ hard-earned tax dollars come back to our state. I’m glad to see our state is continuing to benefit from this investment.”
The following projects in Iowa will receive an overall total of roughly $24.8 million in grant funding:
- Dubuque – $2.28 million for a new overpass: This planning project will design and engineer a vehicular/pedestrian overpass at the 14th Street railroad grade, with street enhancements for an approximately 3,044-foot section of the 16th Street corridor and an approximately 2,880-foot section of the Elm Street corridor, with a new pedestrian/bike shared-use path to the Kerper Boulevard Industrial Park and Chaplain Schmitt Island.
- Muscatine – $2 million for Isett Avenue and Cypress Street reconstruction: This planning project includes a full traffic study, environmental assessment, brownfield assessment, public involvement process, topographical survey, right of way determination, design and full construction plans for the Isett Avenue/Cypress Street Corridor in Muscatine. Potential improvements to the corridor could include four-to-three-lane conversion, three new roundabouts, bridge repair and raising, addition of sidewalks, extension of a multi-use trail, improved storm-water management, sanitary sewer and water main replacement and landscaping.
- Waterloo – $20.5 million for La Porte Road revitalization: The project will make improvements on approximately 2.7 miles of La Porte Road. The project will add sidewalks, bicycle trails, lighting, transit benches and platforms and a bus shelter to the corridor. The project will also reconfigure the corridor to eliminate certain travel lanes, create a separated bicycle and pedestrian path, and add turn lanes in select locations throughout the corridor.
Funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law has already been approved for many other projects across the state. Last month, USDOT announced five airports in Iowa will receive $27 million in overall grant funding under the fiscal year 2022 Airport Terminal Program, which was created by the bipartisan infrastructure law.
Earlier this year, the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System – which is responsible for providing rural water to northwest Iowa communities like Rock Rapids, Hull and Sioux Center – received $75.5 million from the infrastructure bill. Project leaders plan to use this investment to finish 17 miles of pipeline, construct two-meter buildings and build a new pump station. On the other side of the state, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced an $829.1 million investment in lock and dam modernization projects along the upper Mississippi River – one of Iowa’s top five infrastructure improvement priorities.
Additionally, with funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) has updated its five-year plan to include many other road and bridge improvement projects. These are only a few examples of many similar projects across Iowa that now have much-needed funding to finish the job due to the bipartisan infrastructure law.