Staff to train on installing, removing floodgate on East Mississippi Drive – Voice Of Muscatine

(Courtesy City of Muscatine)

The Department of Public Works Roadway Maintenance Division will close East Mississippi Drive at the entrance to HNI Corporation Thursday as staff trains on and certifies Mississippi Drive Structure #1 (Floodgate #1). The flood gate is located adjacent to the seawall at the eastern end of Mississippi Drive.

Traffic on Mississippi Drive and Mulberry Avenue will not be delayed by the exercise that will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at around 12 p.m. The exercise was planned in coordination with HeinzKraft and HNI Corporation.

“The installation of the floodgate is part of our annual flood training program,” Tyson Wedekind, Roadway Maintenance Supervisor, said. “Once it has been installed, we will inspect its condition and then take it back down.”

Exercising the flood gate involves the installation of each piece of the structure, physical inspection of each piece and accomplishing repairs as needed, and dismantling and proper storage of each piece of the structure. Training was supervised by staff members who had participated in a previous installation.

Annual drills (exercises) are conducted to retain familiarity with the mechanics and manpower requirements of installing closure structures in years when the actual need to close does not occur. Sporadic intervals of personnel turnover make drills extremely necessary to conduct gate closure drills on Mississippi Drive Structure #1 and on East 2nd Street Structure #2. The structure on East 2nd Street was cleaned and exercised on May 14.

Flood gates were removed from 5th Street in 2006 when the bridge was elevated, therefore, no action is required at 5th Street. Two other flood gates cross CP Rail tracks including one across from the bluff on Mississippi Drive, and the other just south of Washington Street on the spur towards HeinzKraft.

The Mississippi River is currently at 13.71 feet and is expected to rise to 15.2 feet by next Sunday. Minor flooding occurs at 16 feet but the current forecast does not indicate any flood potential for Muscatine at the current time. Upriver weather conditions may change the forecast, however.

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