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Davenport’s Rockingham Road is ready for a revival

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Rockingham Road is a lifeline to Davenport.

"It gets pretty wicked down here," said resident Chris Waldo.

These days, the aging, crumbling road looks more like it's on life support.

Longtime residents, like Waldo, try to avoid it.

"I'm tired of having to buy shocks all the time and worry about potholes popping my tires," he continued.

"When it rains down here, it's pretty  bad," added James Yarolem, Olderog Tire Service.

After more than a half-century of serving customers on Rockingham Road, the tire business knows all about the troubles.

"You can't even drive through it," Yarolem said.  "It gets to the point where it's almost two to three feet deep in water."

That's why Davenport is launching a $2.7 million project to repair the road and sewer.

It's part of the city's $40.5 million capital improvement budget.

The Rockingham design process will take about a year, with construction to follow.

"This kind of fell behind in the prioritization," said Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch.  "I think it's time that we show clearly that everybody is important.  Every street is important in this community."

The project should also boost interest in vacant buildings.

It's another way to revive the Rockingham corridor.

Yarolem is helping to connect nearby businesses with the upcoming project.

He sees it as a way to restore a neglected gateway to Davenport.

"Once they get everything cleaned up and looking nice, I think it will re-grow," he said.  "I think this West end will come alive again."

Some businesses are discovering the Rockingham corridor before the work.

There's a new Burger King and Family Dollar store near the tire business.

Yet, there are plenty of opportunities for growth.

Road repairs should only help to attract  more investment.

"We're all on the same page here," Yarolem said.  "We just want to get it done, fixed and working correctly."

Waldo, who goes out of his way to avoid Rockingham Road, can't wait.

"I appreciate it," he concluded.  "It's good."

Good to get this transportation lifeline off life support.