River Drive shut down

Construction is putting the brakes on a lot of our commutes.

A portion of River Drive will be closed entirely to traffic from Wednesday morning until Friday.

“We’re always excited to get traffic down here,” said DeEtte Sexton, who rings up sales and wraps up gifts at Blue Sky gift shop in the Village of East Davenport.

On the minds of shop workers like DeEtte, is construction along River Drive, which has already been affecting business here.

“Some people are not sure how much of a mess it’ll be and I don’t think it’s been a big deal, but I think some people have been afraid of it,” said Sexton.

Starting Wednesday at 8 a.m., the portion of River Drive from Bettendorf’s border to the Village is closed down to make way for construction crews and equipment there to fix a sewer pipe that’s located beneath River Drive.

Drivers going west should take Kimberly Road in Bettendorf to Locust Street, then south on Harrison Street to River Drive.

Anyone going east is recommended to take River Drive, then north on Bridge, then north to Locust.

“We have great, loyal customers and hopefully it’ll keep going that way.”

Meanwhile, businesses like Blue Sky hope any traffic diverted their way along Mound Street, will result in more customers coming through their doors.

“Any business that potentially drives past us can be very, very helpful. Even after five years, there are people who didn’t know we’re here. We’re always happy when new people find us.”

Traffic was reduced down, with some lanes still open initially, but because of the placement of the sewer line, crews will have to shut the entire stretch of road down.

(editor’s note:  Davenport city officials originally planned to close River Drive Tuesday evening, May 8, following afternoon rush hour.  That plan later changed to close the road after Wednesday morning’s rush hour.)