- Associated Press - Sunday, August 27, 2017

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) - For the first time in 20 years, all three boat docks on Muscatine’s Municipal Harbor have been improved, according to the Parks and Recreation Department.

“Boaters have brand new docks to work from and use,” Parks and Recreation Director Richard Klimes told the Muscatine Journal . “And combine that with the ongoing maintenance efforts, and we’re going to be in good condition on the riverfront.”

The city has been working to repair docks and improve the harbor for more than a year, and now the work is nearly completed. In the March 6 tornado, Klimes said a riverboat broke loose from its moorings, and ran into the houseboat and transient docks.

When the boat hit the docks, it ripped out electrical and water lines, damaged five sections of the houseboat dock and bent several poles. The damage was estimated at about $80,000 and was covered by insurance. Klimes said the repair work is nearly finished.

“We’ve had limited space, so we’ve looked at our resources very carefully,” he said. “We put boats into stalls where they can adequately fit. You don’t want to block access to the harbor itself.”

The third boat dock at Muscatine’s harbor, the long dock used for smaller vessels, was replaced earlier this summer. A grant from the Department of Natural Resources provided $125,000 to fund the new long dock, plus add stone rip rap to protect the bank. The city paid $90,000 for the project.

With work wrapping up to all of Muscatine’s boat docks, Klimes said the city has begun dredging on the Mississippi. The city dredges the harbor as needed, to make it easier for boats to pass through.

“Once that’s complete, we will move the houseboat slips back in, realign the slips and put those renters back in their spaces,” he said.

At the same time, crews are also dredging and removing materials from the boat launch down-river. After that work, Klimes said workers will clean off the parking area and repaint lines and parking symbols.

“Then, the dock should be in place, the harbor should be functional, parking alignment will be functional, and the upper- and down-river boat launches will be functional,” he said.

Klimes hopes dredging work will be completed by Labor Day.

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Information from: Muscatine Journal, https://www.muscatinejournal.com

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