Port of Dubuque's new public marina soon to open - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Port of Dubuque's new public marina soon to open

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

A riverside attraction in Dubuque expected to boost tourism is nearing completion.

For a number of years now, the city has been planning and building the Port of Dubuque marina in the Ice Harbor in hopes of drawing people off the Mighty Mississippi and into the Port's many attractions.

The marina is the city's project, but it's tied to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, which both share the mission of making the river more publicly accessible and an attraction for both tourists and locals.

The River Museum recently opened the Mississippi Plaza, an outdoor space with animals and displays for the enjoyment of museum guests.

City and museum leaders say they expect the new plaza and marina to attract boaters to the port.

The marina has 70 slips of various sizes, and they're transient, meaning boaters can come stay overnight. There are wastewater and fuel facilities at the marina, as well as utility hook-ups.

The River Museum's director of marketing John Sutter said the size of the new marina is just right.

"We think it's a great size. We didn't want to see it overtake the entire Ice Harbor because it still is a working harbor with the Spirit of Dubuque here and Newt Marine and our friends at the Coast Guard," he said, adding he's, "just happy to see it continue to be a multi-use marina."

The marina cost approximately $4 million to construct. City engineer Bob Schiesl said $3 million came from a boating infrastructure grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The other $1 million came from city taxpayer dollars.

The Dubuque County Recorder's office lists 7,365 boats registered in Dubuque County in 2012. That's approximately one boat for every 13 people who live in Dubuque County, according to 2010 Census numbers. Leaders say they hope those living in Dubuque and the surrounding area will get good use of the marina as well - not just tourists.

Dubuque city council members and other leaders toured the nearly-completed marina Monday evening as part of a 5 p.m. work session ahead of the regular 6:30 p.m. city council meeting.

On June 1, the River Museum and city of Dubuque will be holding a joint ribbon-cutting ceremony for the museum's Mississippi Plaza and the city's new public marina in the Port of Dubuque. That's at 11 a.m. at the plaza and open to the public.

Click HERE for more information from the city on its new marina.

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