MUSCATINE, Iowa – The cleanup effort continues in Riverside Park as various departments within the City of Muscatine pitch in to restore the park that was covered by flood waters from the Mississippi River for over three months this spring.
Parks and Recreation officials say that it may be months before the work is completed, but most of the park is open for public use and enjoyment.
The downriver end of Riverside Park has been mostly restored with the Pearl City Station, the playground and basketball courts, restroom facility, and trail system open to the public. The old boat launch area still has mud and debris that will be addressed once the river drops a few more feet.
The Riverview Center off of the Cedar Street intersection remains closed pending an inspection by a structural engineer and repairs to the facilities elevator.
“The insurance company is sending a structural engineer to examine the building and we will have to wait and see what their report indicates,” Richard Klimes, Park and Recreation Director said.
This part of the park experienced the most damage from months of being inundated by floodwaters and include the transient boat docks and the Mississippi Mist.
“We have a large tree that became lodged under the docks during the flood, and we have a contractor coming in to remove it,” Klimes said.
Repairs to the docks will also be undertaken as needed.
The transient docks are inaccessible at the present time as the Mississippi River has risen to 15.6 feet and putting the walkway to the docks underwater. The river had dropped to 12.85 feet at the end of June but rose again due to recent rainfall. The level is expected to remain stationary for the next several days and begin to fall on Monday.
Work on the Mississippi Mist, a popular summer time attraction, has yet to begin with the holding tank and plumbing clogged with leftover Mississippi mud.
“We hope to reopen the Riverview Center soon and then concentrate on the Mist,” Klimes said.
The Mississippi Mist is classified as a pool and must be cleaned, sanitized, and pass an inspection before the fountain is allowed to flow again.
“There is a lot of work yet to be done, not only in this park but in other areas as well,” Klimes said. “It just takes time and we ask that the public be patient. We will have the park completely open as soon as we can.”
One of the last items on the repair agenda for Riverside Park will be the landscaping, most of which, at least in the central portion, will need to be replaced or reseeded. Parks and Recreation is also working to restore the medians in Mississippi Drive from Mulberry to Cedar.
“We are still researching to determine the proper plants to put into those medians,” Klimes said.
The harbor, gas dock, the upriver boat launch, and the harbor docks are open for business. Slips are available for rent by calling the Parks and Recreation office.