State of the City: Moline on the move with construction and transportation projects

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MOLINE - - From high above to ground level, work on the Q and Element Hotel is busier than ever on  Monday, March 27.

It will be a centerpiece for downtown Moline, featuring passenger rail service and amenities.

"It will be a new look for both public and private events," said Moline's Planning and Development Director Ray Forsythe.

During Moline's State of the City presentation before the Moline Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, he joined Mayor Scott Raes to detail a long list of developments.

Transportation is crucial to keep Moline moving ahead. That explains the $67 million face lift for John Deere Road.

"John Deere Road is the busiest corridor in the Quad Cities," said Mayor Raes. "People like that fact and are willing to invest dollars to get them there."

There's the massive, four-year project to build a new Interstate 74 bridge over the Mississippi River. The $1.2 billion bridge project is scheduled to open in 2021.

"It will be a phenomenal structure in the heart of the Quad Cities," Forsythe continued. "The state of Illinois and Iowa are ready. It's funded."

As Moline moves forward, it also embraces change. Change that's finding new use for old buildings.

The former Chase Bank building on 5th Avenue is a case in point.

"It's going to be 31 market-rate apartments, right in the core of downtown Moline," Forsythe said.

Saved from demolition, the Spiegel Building should go from eyesore to elegant.  It will feature housing and an eatery.

"It's the first project in the new neighborhood created by the relocation of the I-74 bridge," he continued.

Restaurant fans will be happy to know that an Olive Garden, Popeye's Chicken and Panda Express are all on the way to the John Deere Road corridor.

These projects and others draw attention to what Moline can offer. The Element Hotel and Q are centered for success.

"It's going to benefit the whole Quad Cities," Mayor Raes concluded.  "But we're fortunate that people are going to have to come to Moline."

It's a city that's building to keep its future on the move.