John Deere Road construction wrapping up before Black Friday

MOLINE, Illinois -- Construction work is wrapping up on John Deere Road just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Starting at 9 p.m. on Thursday, November 16, traffic heading east on John Deere Road will move over onto the newly-built lanes. The concrete barrier dividing eastbound and westbound traffic will then be removed, adding additional turn lanes.

All intersections will be opened up, improving access to stores and restaurants located along John Deere Road.

"Lowes, Walmart, Sams Club, Menards, Farm and Fleet -- all those businesses that have been suffering through this for the last couple years. This is the biggest good news I think we can deliver to them for Christmas," said Ray Forsythe, Moline's planning and development director.

City leaders said approximately 52,000 vehicles travel John Deere Road every day, making it the second busiest stretch of roadway in the Quad Cities.

Although businesses have remained accessible throughout the construction work, owners say confusion and the perception of added hassle has kept some shoppers away.

"Not necessarily in our existing customers, but maybe we've lost some in new customers that have never been here before. It's a little harder for them to think they have to fight an element to get to where you are," said Mark Zimmerman, the president of Zimmerman Honda.

Forsythe said Moline's sales tax revenue is down this year, partially because of construction projects around the city. However, city and business leaders believe the project's benefits largely outweigh its costs.

"This neighborhood and this corridor will be filled up in four or five more years I think," said Zimmerman.

Work on John Deere Road will resume in the spring, with crews focusing on the westbound lanes of traffic.

IDOT officials say the entire project is slightly ahead of schedule, and they hope to finish by the end of the 2018 construction season.

For a detailed list of this week's traffic changes, click here.