Crews from the Street Maintenance Division of the Department of Public Works were out early Tuesday morning opening Floodgate #2 (East 2nd Street at Mad Creek) and cleaning the surface of the Mad Creek bridge prior to officially opening the street to traffic.
Brian Stineman, DPW Director, indicated that the street is now open to traffic but that Mississippi Drive from Mulberry to Iowa would remain closed for now.
Opening East 2nd Street to traffic ended the flood detour (using East 5th Street, Cypress, and Washington streets). The detour for Mississippi Drive will remain in effect, however.
The Mississippi River fell below major flood stage (20-feet) Tuesday morning when the level dropped to 19.95 feet just after 9 a.m. The river is expected to continue to fall and will pass below moderate flood stage (18 feet) Saturday.
Cleanup of Mississippi Drive is scheduled to begin on Wednesday at Walnut Street. Floodgate #1 located at Mississippi Drive and Mulberry Avenue is tentatively scheduled to be removed Wednesday along with work beginning to remove the Hesco barriers between Cedar and Sycamore streets.
Work to remove the Hesco barriers will continue the rest of the week. Mississippi Drive will remain closed to traffic as the cleanup continues but Stineman hopes to have the eastbound lane open as soon as possible. The westbound lane will remain closed due to the cleanup of the Hesco barrier sand.
Riverside Park will remain closed until the river falls below 18 feet. Some cleanup efforts are already underway but the majority of the work will have to wait until the river level drops more. Parks and Recreation staff have indicated that they will work as best they can to clean up the park from the receding flood waters and open the park to traffic as soon as possible.
The cleanup schedule and reopening of the park and Mississippi Drive is dependent on the weather and the need for city crews to address other issues.
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