The City of Maquoketa’s downtown was in need of definition. More than seven years earlier, a fire destroying five buildings had left a hole in the City’s downtown. Its streets and sidewalks needed to be replaced and efforts were underway to attract new businesses. With its residents’ support, the City decided to move forward with revitalization efforts and address the full downtown area with a streetscape improvement project.
The project includes approximately 11 city blocks on Main Street, and side streets within the downtown area. The streetscape design visually marks the district with crosswalk pavers and coordinated site furnishings such as light poles with flags and banners.
Other project features include:
- Easy-to-construct planter/bench structures feature smooth and rough limestone bases, including Mo-Keta limestone quarried from Jackson County.
- Sidewalk bump-out nodes that enhance pedestrian safety. The nodes create shorter crosswalks and street access that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Traffic signals are set back to align with building faces so that motorists see pedestrians more easily.
- Turn lanes for Main Street and its cross-streets enhance safety.
While the project may only be 11 blocks long, it is quite complex. IIW worked closely with utility representatives to make improvements to the water, sewer, energy, and communications systems. Weekly progress and coordination meetings gave the contractor, City representatives, business and property owners, and residents the opportunity to better coordinate and minimize disruption during construction.
In spite of its complexity, the streetscape project trumps a simple sidewalk and street replacement. Citizens asked for a memorable district—one that would encourage new development. This streetscape project is Maquoketa’s opportunity to fuse a new identity.