Moline crews work to reopen River Drive and Ben Butterworth Parkway

MOLINE, Illinois -- Moline city crews have been out cleaning up River Drive for the last few days and the road should be reopening at the soonest Tuesday, the city's Municipal Services General Manager Rodd Schick said.

Schick said street crews have been running the sweepers on River Drive to clean up the mud left behind by the Mississippi, while Water Pollution Control employees worked to clean storm drains.

On Monday, park employees were able to get onto the bike path and trail at Ben Butterworth Parkway for the first time to remove debris and clean up the mud. Moline's Fire Department crew came out to help hose down roads.

"Today we’re just focused on getting the mud scraped off the roadway, getting the driftwood and garbage that’s flowing from the flood," said Parks Department worker Jason Welvaert. "Lots of little pieces of driftwood, different things that’ve come downriver, garbage cans, lots of garbage cans."

Schick said the flood cleanup work this time around would be incorporated into the Public Works Department's regular maintenance budget, unlike during the first river crest.

"There was a fair amount of overtime leading up to and during the flood stages, where people had to work around the clock, seven days a week," he said, adding that he didn't expect a major impact on his budget or workers' overtime.

Seasonal workers were helping to rid the riverfront of driftwood.

The parkway and the bike path haven't officially been open yet, but bicyclists haven't been deterred. Rosemary Richter-Embry and her husband William Embry passed through Ben Butterworth Parkway on a bike tour that started in Geneva, Illinois. They didn't seem to mind the dust, debris and the occasional dead tree along the way.

"The bathrooms, the facilities all seem to be closed. Besides that the trail is nice," Richter-Embry said.

Schick said the bathrooms were full of mud. Bathrooms, playgrounds and landscaping would  be tackled in the next couple weeks, but he's hoping the bike path and park would be officially reopened in the next few days.

He said the total cost of the flood fighting effort would be tallied up at the end of June.

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