Park Avenue gets wider and Houser gets a roundabout

Park Avenue will be renovated to include a center turn lane. Photo by Taylor Cameron


By Taylor Cameron

Muscatine has been awarded a grant to help upgrade some roads and provide a new roundabout. The first project is the reconstruction of Park Avenue. The Iowa Department of Transportation’s $325,000 grant will change the four lanes to three with a center turn lane. This will make driving on Park Avenue much easier, especially for new young drivers.
The second project is a roundabout being up in at the intersection of Fulliam Avenue and Houser Street. This project received a grant of $167,700. This roundabout will make it easier for people who want to turn right towards Cedar Street rather than waiting for the people who want to turn left to go towards Lucas Street.
The city’s Traffic Safety Improvement Committee agreed that Houser and Fulliam is a treacherous intersection and decided to help fund the development. Public Works Director Brian Stineman said that the grant will not cover the labor cost of each project. The estimated cost of labor for Park Avenue is $28,000 and for Fulliam Avenue and Houser Street is $20,000.
Other roundabout projects are in the works, Stineman said.
“There is currently a roundabout being considered in the Grandview Avenue project. It is proposed at the intersection of Grandview, Houser and Sampson Streets.”
These roundabouts will provide a more effective way to get around these busy areas of town.
“Roundabouts and mini-roundabouts (which is what has been proposed for this intersection) have been proven to reduce severe traffic crashes including head-on and T-bone collisions. The angles at which the cars enter and exit roundabouts prevent these types of crashes. In addition, roundabouts have been proven to speed overall wait times at intersections by allowing cars to slow and merge as opposed to stop and start.”
So, these roundabouts will make it easier than stopping at the previous stop sign located at the intersection.
The maintenance of these roundabouts is going to be cost efficient for residents of the Muscatine area.
‘There will be no additional cost to maintain the roundabout. Street repairs are funded from roadway use taxes so there is no bill for residents in the city for street repairs, Stineman said. “The roundabout pavement will be maintained the same as any other street in the city. It will be plowed and patched as necessary and swept at least twice a year.”