City brimming with ideas for Port of Dubuque development - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

City brimming with ideas for Port of Dubuque development

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The city of Dubuque wants to redevelop its south port and sought public input at a meeting Thursday. The city of Dubuque wants to redevelop its south port and sought public input at a meeting Thursday.
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

A public input meeting Thursday night left folks with the city of Dubuque brimming with ideas for the redevelopment of the South Port.

What many people know simply as the Port of Dubuque -- with the Diamond Jo Casino, Grand Harbor Resort, National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, River Walk and more -- is actually only the North Port.

Just a stone's throw away from North Port, across the Ice Harbor, is the South Port: 33 acres of vacant and industrial waterfront property the city wants to redevelop.

The city is teaming up with the University of Iowa's School of Urban and Regional Planning to get public input on how the South Port should be redeveloped. A Port of Dubuque Master Plan from 2002 proposed some ideas, but that was, after all, 10 years ago.

A public input meeting Thursday night at the Grand River Center drew upon the ideas of the more than 60 people who showed up.

Dubuque planning services manager Laura Carstens said people's ideas included extending the river walk from the north port through the south port and all the way up to Dubuque's Mines of Spain Recreation Area, building a railroad museum, adding a zip line, developing parks and creating more opportunities for businesses. She said people at the meeting generally agreed it would be good to keep existing entities in the south port, which include Newt Marine and the US Coast Guard, as they're part of the river history and industry.

Carstens said she was pleased with the turnout, saying organizers had to add chairs to accommodate everyone. People of all ages and from all walks of life attended, she said, which brought good perspective to the idea-gathering session.

Now the graduate students with the University of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning will take and analyze the ideas and hold another public input meeting in the spring to ascertain people's favorite options.

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