How a downtown Moline bar plans to combat I-74 detour traffic woes

MOLINE, Illinois-- Some business owners in downtown Moline are worried the I-74 Bridge detour could mean trouble.

Omar Gutierrez is the lead bartender at Pub 1848 on River Drive. He says the new route has traffic backing up in front of the bar.

"It would make me nervous because there are going to be a lot of events throughout the year," he says. "Every time you look outside the window, all you see is honking, lines and basically too much traffic. More than you would normally see throughout the day."

Traffic gets backed up on River Drive because people can no longer use the 7th Avenue on-ramp to get on I-74.

Gutierrez says the lines and congestion could scare away some customers and keep people out of the downtown area, but Pub 1848 has a plan. They plan to offer extra specials to try and get customers to stop in.

"Just in case they want to go ahead and have a little fun, we're gonna take care of them," Gutierrez says.

A few blocks away, La Casa Mexican Grill is right next to the detour on 19th Street. Co-owner Alfonso Toscano doesn't think too much of the detour.

"There's been a lot of traffic," he says. "But it doesn't really affect our business because we've been in worse situations."

Toscano says in its eight years, the restaurant has seen plenty of construction and road closures. He hopes, if anything, the detour could help business.

"(Drivers) have to stop, you know. Some people don't know that we've been here almost eight years. So that might help," he says.

Overall, business owners ask people to make the extra effort to stop in.

A merchants meeting was set for 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 21. It's an informational meeting being held at the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center to make sure business owners have the most up-to-date information about the I-74 bridge project.

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