Old roadway revamped, preps Davenport for new developments

An old road in Davenport is helping the Quad Cities set up for some new development.

“It’s now well underway in terms of being developed into our next major east-west corridor,” says Matt Flynn, Senior Planning Manager for the City of Davenport’s Community Planning and Economic Development Department.

Tonight, the transformation of E. 67th Street to Veterans Memorial Parkway may move forward.

On Wednesday, June 4th, 2014, Davenport City Council will vote to put another phase of the project in motion by approving federal funding for the Interstate 74 to Utica Ridge Road section.

In December 2013, the section between Eastern Avenue and Jersey Ridge Road opened. Right now, crews are building a new bridge overpass over I-74. After that, they’ll redo the road from Jersey Ridge Road to the bridge, then from the bridge to Utica Ridge Road.

Before all of that though, the start of Veterans Memorial Parkway – from Brady Street to Eastern Avenue – was completed. Already, people in that area have noticed an economic change.

“Traffic has really increased a lot,” says Tony Konecne, Chief Operating Executive of Thunder Bay Grille. “We’ve seen some definite increases especially around our lunch hour.”

Some of the uptick in traffic is related to the new Menards, which opened earlier this year. Nearby, construction is taking place on a new hotel and a new gas station.

“It’s a brand new gas station, which I think will kind of help the area as well because that gives people on the interstate another chance to pull off and have a nice place to stop and a place to get something to eat,” says Konecne.

That economic development is something Flynn and other city leaders hope to continue for the entire stretch of road once the project is complete.

“You want a good road that is safe and can accommodate the amount of traffic,” says Flynn.

There is already something in the works. The new land-based Rhythm City Casino is set to be built right of I-74 and Interstate 80.

“Veterans Memorial Parkway is going to be a really important street to serve the casino,” says Flynn. “It may actually spur an interest in moving forward on some of these other transportation projects.”

City council meets at 5:30pm tonight. We will have the results of the vote on News 8 at 10pm.

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