Mississippi money: Port of Dubuque expansion moving ahead - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mississippi money: Port of Dubuque expansion moving ahead

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- More attractions being added to the Port of Dubuque, once funding is secured. The Dubuque County Historical Society is still seeking some money for its $38 million upgrade to the.The Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

This includes the expansion into the old Diamond Jo building and also along the Ice Harbor riverbank. Currently, the historical society is looking for more dollars to build up in between the two structures.

It's going to be called Mississippi Plaza, an area that connects the existing museum and aquarium with the Great Rivers Center (the name of the expansion into the old Diamond Jo Casino).

"What might have been just a passive way to get from one building to another now is an attraction in and of itself, once it gets built," executive director Jerry Enzler said.

The plaza will include a dancing waters fountain, a river with live fish to feed, a huck finn boat ride, outdoor pavillion and outdoor dining terrace.

The Dubuque County Historical Society, which operates the museum, is seeking a $1.3 million Vision Iowa grant for the plaza.

"We thought, we've just got the perfect opportunity because we will now have two major museum installments and we have this space about the size of a football field that really needs interpretation and development."

Part of the grant requires the money be used to directly connect people with Iowa waterways, so this is part of a $6.8 million project plan that include's the city's plan to build dozens of public boat slips.

The Mississippi Plaza Vision Iowa grant would be part of the matching program for the docks, whether the city council decides on building them in Ice Harbor or on the main channel.

"The combination of Mississippi Plaza and the city boat docks provides us a tremendous opportunity to reconnect Iowans to the river again," Enzler said.

Online Reporter: Jamie Grey

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