River Drive set to open

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DAVENPORT - River Drive will open all the way to downtown Davenport Friday at around 5 p.m., according to Public Works Director Mike Clarke.

Drivers have been dealing with detours along River Drive since early June when the city officially closed the street. Many have been waiting for it to open ever since then.

"I mean it's going to be nice," Harborview landlord Ron Schiltz said. "We can see that."

All four lanes of River Drive will not be open though. River Drive from Iowa to Federal Street will be open to all four lanes of traffic, but Federal Street to Mound Street will only be open to one lane of traffic in each direction. That could still make people take the Bridge Avenue hill to avoid other cars.

"We never have this kind of traffic here," Davenport resident Cheryl Miller said.

Miller lives on Bridge Avenue and has seen a lot more cars go up her street this summer. That is because many are taking the River Drive detour which puts you at 10th Street and Bridge Avenue.

"I bet you we have five times the traffic that we normally do," Miller said.

Many people who live on Bridge Avenue are still skeptical that the opening of River Drive will actually relieve traffic. River Drive was supposed to open three weeks ago but fell behind schedule. That's why some don't believe the city will actually open it tomorrow.

"I don't see it happening," Davenport resident Skip Garris said. "When's it really going to happen? It's not going to be tomorrow."

The Mound Street intersection is not supposed to be affected by tomorrow's move. It will stay open as normal all the way to the Bettendorf city limits. For many though in the area, the construction delay has made them worry that the city won't open the street Friday.

"I'll have to see it first," Miller said when asked whether she believes River Drive will open Friday.

River Drive from Federal to Mound Street will be down to one lane in each direction for the next two to three weeks. After that, construction will start on River Drive east of The Village of East Davenport. Construction there is supposed to last until November.