Rock Island City Council considers remodeling Great River Plaza

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-- The stage in the middle of the Great River Plaza has seen its share of concerts and events, but the city is considering to apply for a federal grant to tear the stage down and make the area more open to traffic.

Rock Island's Urban Planner, Brandy Howe says the idea is to model the area after a Dutch-style design - a woonerf, which means "living street."

"It's more about opening it up to the community in terms of bikes and pedestrians. Obviously bikes and (pedestrians) can now be on here, but having it opened up and improved as part of a street-scape function, is going to make it better aesthetically. It's going to make it better for the businesses in terms of visibility and people wanting to come down town," she says.

This project is a part of the city's vision to revitalize the downtown area.  However, businesses like the Rock Island Brewing Company still uses the stage for concerts and events. Owner Terry Tilka says the area just needs to be remodeled with the stage still in mind.

"The plaza needs to be updated. The stage cover needs to be fixed, the tree stumps need to be removed, better garbage better recycling needs to be done downtown. But half the businesses opened up on the plaza because it was the plaza," says Tilka.

The Rock Island City Council has until June 17 to apply for the grant. If selected the money would be awarded to the city by the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program.

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