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No Car Access To Riverfront

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MUSCATINE, IA – There is still no direct access to the riverfront in Muscatine even though flood waters have gone down. During the flooding, a private rail company raised the tracks so trains could keep running, but that leaves it impossible for vehicles to get through.

In order to get to the riverfront, people have to park on the north side of Mississippi Drive, then walk across the tracks to the river.

Resident Robert Allen says, “They should start as soon as possible to get at least one, Iowa Avenue or Cedar Street, opened up.”

The rails were raised 15 to 18 inches higher on the Fourth of July weekend. C.P. rail headed this project, but did not notify the city of Muscatine or the Iowa Department of Transportation.

City Administrator Greg Mandsager says it blocks off use to the public, but beyond that, it is already causing safety hazards. He says, “The police department responded to a call that we had a potential jumper on the bridge and emergency responders were not able to get their boat launched.”

Luckily, police were able to stop the man from jumping, but if they didn’t it could have been an even more serious problem.

Mandsager says safety is a main concern, and that CP Rail along with the Iowa DOT have been very cooperative. They had a phone conference yesterday to discuss the issues. “One of the things we talked about yesterday with the railroad and the Iowa DOT is making sure we have a communication plan in place should the railroad need to make emergency repairs in the future.”

The rail company will be laying down gravel as a temporary fix by the end of tomorrow.

On June 28th, they will have a more permanent solution by putting the original concrete panels back in place. There is also a plan for an absolute permanent solution, but no timeline on that yet.

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