Update: City Council passes on proposed program to support to Riverdale-based businesses

Update: City Council passes on proposed program to support to Riverdale-based businesses

(UPDATE: APRIL 29, 2020) The City Council of Riverdale decided to pass on the no-interest loan program proposed by the mayor to help Riverdale-based, small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Residents present for the meeting – which was conducted online – raised concerns with the program and, in general, felt it duplicated other programs offered by the state and federal governments. There was also concern about how difficult it would be for the City’s staff to manage the program and how the loans would be secured to minimize financial risk.

Everyone spoke highly of the intent of the measure and the desire to find other ways to help those small businesses struggling with being shut down and families who have had their incomes reduced, and in some cases, eliminated. But this program was not one the City Council felt comfortable moving ahead with.

(UPDATE: APRIL 26, 2020) The City Council of Riverdale will review a proposed program that will provide Riverdale-based, small businesses with no-interest loans of up to $4,800. Details of the program can be found here.

The program’s details were pulled together by Mayor Mike Bawden at the request of City Council Members who were concerned about the viability of several of the community’s small businesses who were caught by surprise when the Governor of Iowa issued the state-wide disaster proclamation related to the COVID-19 outbreak. “In many cases,” explained the Mayor, “Small businesses just don’t have the financial wherewithal to cover a catastrophic loss of income and still cover expenses while state and federal agencies like the SBA try to respond. Small bars, restaurants, health clubs and retailers need cash flow to keep the doors open – or, at a minimum, to make sure they are still around when the federal government finally shows up with their relief check.”

In many cases, stimulus checks from the federal government are getting caught up in red tape and that could spell the end of many small businesses.

“I think the Council wanted to address that issue, but not give away the store,” explained the Mayor, noting the conversation at the April 14th meeting included making the loans forgivable and possibly expanding the program to include residents who were having problems making critical payments like rent or their monthly mortgage. “The City Council discussed a lot of things, but when the conversation finally came to a close, it was pretty clear they wanted to move incrementally. The proposal on the table at Tuesday’s meeting is just that.”

(ORIGINAL: APRIL 19, 2020) The City of Riverdale is working on rolling out a program providing up to $5,000 in no-interest loans to Riverdale-based businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The motion provided to City Council Members at their April 14 meeting was a working document prepared by the Mayor with the hope it would steer the conversation toward a definitive path. The basic framework was what was originally proposed by Council Members Anthony Heddlesten and Kevin Adams – both of whom approached the Mayor to see what might be done.

“Businesses need help now,” explained Council Member Adams, who had spent some time visiting with Jamie Long, the proprietor of MY PLACE (Riverdale’s only bar). He shared his realization that there were a number of expenses a business had that it couldn’t avoid with a rapid shut-down. “The cable service needs to stay on because it’s under contract and it’s connected to the bar’s security cameras.” Orders for product, rent and other expenses continue to mount while the business is shuttered by the State.

Concerns about the fate of the DUCK CREEK PANCAKE HOUSE as well as the gym, the motor cycle clinic and other businesses were shared by members of the City Council.

A Direction Gets Set

The Council asked the Mayor to put together the basic structure of a program they could vote on at the next City Council Meeting (on April 28).  Key points of the program:

•  Money provided to businesses should be loans rather than grants.

•  Loans can be at 0% interest, but should be secured and there should be a definite pay-back schedule.

•  Loan amounts should be capped (for now) at $5,000.

•  Need to set a maximum amount of money in the program so it’s not “open ended.”

•  Applying for a loan should be simple.

•  Not sure if home-based businesses should be included.

Do Individual Citizens Need This Assistance?

A question was raised as to whether or not individual residents needed help with making ends meet. Although no direction on this matter was given at the meeting, it may come up again in the future.

UPDATE: Council decides to table approval of Woods Estates – Phase 2

UPDATE: Council decides to table approval of Woods Estates – Phase 2

Update (April 15, 2020) – The City Council voted to table the Resolution approving the final plat for Phase 2 of Woods Estates of Riverdale in order to provide Developer Seth Woods with adequate time to judge economic conditions and begin work on the project when he felt the time was right. Based on the recommendation of P&Z Commission co-chair, Wendy Syverud (who attended the meeting remotely), there was some concern that a conditional approval of the plat would set a time limit for Mr. Woods to provide the letter of credit and begin the work, regardless of the state of the economy which is currently reeling from the COVID-19 outbreak.

“If we’re still in lockdown mode in 90 days, then I’m probably not going to do anything this year,” said Mr. Woods during the public hearing that proceeded the decision by the Council. Unlike the first phase of the project, which saw Mr. Woods take on responsibility for over $5 million of construction costs without approval on the sub division plat, he made it very clear that he didn’t intend to begin any work on the site until he’s secured the letter of credit (which provides the financial guarantee the public improvements will be completed) and the City has given its approval of the plat for the phase.

Having an approved plat for the phase means Mr. Woods will be able to subdivide the property into smaller lots that are recorded with Scott County and then sell those lots to home builders and prospective home buyers.


Original Story (April 13, 2020) – After receiving a conditional recommendation from the Riverdale Planning & Zoning Commission for the final plat of the Woods Estates Second Addition, Developer Seth Woods has decided to ask the City Council for conditional approval of the plat – allowing time for the COVID-19 outbreak to run its course. Mr. Woods will make his presentation of the final plat at a public hearing on Tuesday, April 14th and the Council is prepared to review the recommendation from P&Z and provide its approval or denial later on that evening during the Council’s regular meeting.

In a prepared statement to the City Council, Mr. Woods says:

“As you know, the coronavirus outbreak has caused a great deal of economic stress not just here in the Quad Cities but around the world. For my business – as I’m sure is true for many of you – the uncertainty surrounding the economy has made a lot of my customers pull back from where they were just a few weeks ago …

It also makes pushing ahead – right now – with work on this phase a much riskier proposition …

At the Planning & Zoning Meeting, I was set to move ahead with getting our Letter of Credit from BankORION to City Hall by April 10 so things could keep rolling along. A few weeks ago, the Mayor and I discussed the option of delaying a bit as things have continued to get tighter, that’s sounding more and more like a good thing to do.”

Developer Seth Woods reviewing differences in the final plat of Phase 1 versus the approved, preliminary plat (approved in July of 2018).

As a result of the economic distress resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, Mr. Woods is asking the City Council to provide a conditional approval of the plat that restricts him from moving ahead with any construction on the second phase until he’s provided the City with an irrevocable letter of credit that meets with the City’s approval. According to the Mayor, a draft LOC has already been provided and with the exception of a small language change recommended by the P&Z Commission, it appears everything else is in order.

In a cover memo to the City Council outlining the situation and providing some advice on possible “next steps”, the Mayor outlined the three options available:

“Following the public hearing on the plat, Mr. Woods asks the Council to consider the following options:

a.) Approve the plat for Phase 2 but retain the P&Z Commission’s condition that a final, executed letter of credit must be received by the City prior to any construction work beginning on the site (although some material may be delivered and stored on-premises).

b.) Table consideration of the plat approval to a later date – presumably when Mr. Woods provides an executed letter of credit to the City. No further public hearings would be needed at that time, although a motion to reconsider will be on the agenda for each meeting until action is finally taken.

c.) Deny approval of the plat which would then require Mr. Woods to go through the entire process again with Planning & Zoning and Council, including public hearings. This action could be problematic for the City unless there were some clear deficiencies in the plat and engineering drawings submitted, which there weren’t.”

The documents presented to the City Council for review during the public hearing can be found here. A link to an online file containing all of the documents (including engineering drawings) provided to the Planning & Zoning Commission for their review and discussion during their March 24th meeting can be found here.

Riverdale outpaces Iowa for census participation – but just barely!

Riverdale outpaces Iowa for census participation – but just barely!

Status report showing how many Riverdale households have completed their 2020 Census (credit: US Census Bureau)

US Census information went out to citizens across the country during the first half of March and results are pouring in via the bureau’s online portal. In Riverdale, 38% of households have already completed their census questionnaire – just a bit ahead of Iowans, on average.

But we can do better!

Census intake is scheduled to go on through the month of July. Once the census closes, counts will be compiled and the information needed to help structure everything from new Congressional District lines to allocations of road and sewer funds for the next decade will be in-hand. 

April 1st is the official “Census Day” in the United States. Please try to have your census form submitted on or before that day to make sure every resident of Riverdale is counted.

The online form is simple and easy and takes less than 15 minutes to complete.

Planning & Zoning makes conditional recommendation for Woods Estates Phase 2 plat approval

Planning & Zoning makes conditional recommendation for Woods Estates Phase 2 plat approval

At its meeting on Tuesday, March 24th, the Planning & Zoning Commission for the City of Riverdale gave conditional approval to the plans and drawings submitted by Developer Seth Woods for the second phase of the Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision. The plans and drawings, which were reviewed by Brent Morlock, an engineer with the City of Bettendorf, were in-line with what was approved with the preliminary plat submitted by Woods in 2018. Other than street name changes made to accommodate requests from Scott County EMS, there were no other significant changes.

The Final Plat of Woods Estates of Riverdale Second Addition (Phase 2)

The Commission did express some concern that a performance guarantee had not been provided with the submission at the time of their review. The City Council of Riverdale had amended the Development Agreement (with the agreement of Mr. Woods) to allow for the posting of either a performance bond or a irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of 125% of the estimated cost of the public improvements to satisfy the performance guarantee requirement. Mr. Woods’ financial institution had provided a copy of a letter of credit, but until a firm start date for the project is provided by the developer, the institution could not provide a hard copy of the letter.

Mr. Woods explained that with the spring weather and the unexpected interruption resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, he was holding off for a little bit before settling on a start date.  Mr. Morlock advised that the City of Bettendorf’s P&Z Commission usually provides approvals of plans and drawings with contingencies and Riverdale’s Commission seemed comfortable with proceeding in a similar manner.

In order to receive a full recommendation by the Commission, Mr. Woods will need to determine a start date for Phase 2 of the subdivision and secure the Letter of Credit. Mayor Bawden, who attended the virtual meeting as well, stated that his impression was that the City Council would not take up formal approval fo the final plat until the Letter of Credit was complete, in-hand and securely files. Mr. Woods agreed.

A Public Hearing by the City Council concerning the approval of the final plat for Phase 2 of Woods Estates is currently scheduled to take place during the Council’s next regular meeting, on April 14. That meeting will be conducted virtually. Information on how interested parties can attend and participate will be posted at City Hall, shared via the City’s online newsletter, posted on this website, and shared on the City’s social media page(s). 

Meeting Announcement: Planning & Zoning Commission to hold public hearing and meeting re: Woods Estates Subdivision Phase 2

Meeting Announcement: Planning & Zoning Commission to hold public hearing and meeting re: Woods Estates Subdivision Phase 2

The Planning & Zoning Commission will be holding a public hearing and meeting regarding the proposed plat for the second phase of the Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision. The developer, Seth Woods, will be presenting the plans to the Commission and both developer and commission members will be available to answer questions from citizens.

Due to the Governor of Iowa’s recent declaration concerning the COVID-19 outbreak, the meeting will be held online via GoToMeeting. More details on how to attend and participate will be added to this post shortly. Please check back or follow the City’s activities on social media for updates.

Information about the meeting


PLACE: The meeting will be held online via GoToMeeting. 
Meeting To Be Held Online via GoToMeeting
Citizens can attend online or via phone.

DATE:  Tuesday, March 24, 2020     TIME:  6:00 P.M.

This meeting of the Riverdale, Iowa Planning & Zoning Commission will be conducted according to the following order and actions will be considered on the items listed. The notice of this meeting is not considered final until 24 hours prior to the meeting and may be further modified if 24 hours notice is impossible or impractical for good cause. 

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state laws, all public hearings and meetings held or sponsored by the city of Riverdale, IA will be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Persons requiring auxiliary aids and services should contact City Hall at (563) 355-2511 five (5) days prior to the hearing or meeting to inform of their anticipated attendance.  

1. Welcome and Roll Call 

2. Review and Approval of the Agenda 

 3. Approval of Minutes March 11, 2020 

 4. Open Public Hearing for Final Plat Phase 2, Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision.   

A. Presentation from Developer Seth Woods – Woods Construction 
B. Determination by City of Bettendorf City Engineer Brent Morlock on behalf of the City of Riverdale 
C. Public Comment 

5. Close Public Hearing 

6. Discussion and Consideration of Recommendation to City Council on the Final Plat Phase 2, Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision 

7. Next Meeting Wednesday, June 3, 2020 (Unless One is Needed Sooner)

8. Adjournment  

Documents for Meeting

Attending the Meeting Online

To attend the Planning & Zoning Public Hearing and Meeting on Tue, Mar 24, 2020 (from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM), just join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smart phone by clicking on the button or this link. You can access the meeting by using the access code: 906-941-717

Not comfortable joining online? You can dial into the meeting with your phone, just call: (786) 535-3211 and use the access code (906-941-717) when prompted.

Please Note: It’s highly recommended you get the GoToMeeting app and install it on your computer before the meeting starts so you’ll be ready when we begin.

Just go to: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/906941717 to download the app.

Long-range completion dates set for Woods Estates subdivision

Long-range completion dates set for Woods Estates subdivision

As part of the review process for the final plat of Phase I or Woods Estates of Riverdale, the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission asked developer Seth Woods to provide a rough timeline for the completion of the 116-home subdivision. That plan showed a new phase of the subdivision being completed each year, running through 2025.

After the first phase final plat was completed, the City began working with Woods Construction & Development to update the existing Development Agreement between the two to reflect the completion schedule as it relates to the turnover of “public improvements” to the City. The original agreement required Mr. Woods to complete all fo the sewers, utilities and roads and turn over everything to the City for maintenance by the end of this current year.

“Obviously, that wasn’t very practical,” said Mayor Mike Bawden. “I don’t think the developer (Woods) would want to invest millions of dollars in infrastructure to meet the deadline and then let the roads sit empty for years while other phases of the subdivision were under construction.”

“In addition to that, I don’t think it would be in the City’s interest to encourage all of the related construction activity, like grading, that would destroy ground cover and open us up to unnecessary erosion problems while the land sat waiting for subdivision, sale and building.”

As a result, Interim City Administrator, Lisa Kotter worked with Woods’ attorney to create an addendum to the Development agreement that phased the turnover of public improvements to coincide with the expected development of the subdivision on a phase-by-phase basis.

The resolution (Resolution 2020-19) was passed by the City Council on an unanimous voice vote.

Woods Estates of Riverdale is officially “open for business”

Woods Estates of Riverdale is officially “open for business”

On a chilly Wednesday morning (February 5th), Mayor Mike Bawden cut the ribbon to officially open the Woods Estates of Riverdale subdivision to the public.

Developer Seth Woods and members of his family, Council Members Anthony Heddlesten and Paul DCamp and others were present along with Scott County Sheriff Tim Lane, PVCSD Superintendent Brian Strusz, members of the Quad City Chamber of Commerce, Riverdale Interim City Administrator Lisa Kotter and nearly two dozen other people braved the wind and freezing temperature to participate.

Woods Estates will double Riverdale’s population

In some opening remarks, Mayor Bawden explained to those in attendance that Woods Estates was a significant addition to the City of Riverdale. The 116 lots, filled with single-family homes, are expected to double the population of the city (currently around 405) and will add an estimated 30-35% to the community’s property value.

“This is truly a historic occasion for our little city,” Mayor Bawden said. “Not only is it the first significant real estate development in Riverdale in over forty years, but as it turns out, Woods Estates is the premier housing subdivision in the Quad Cities.” Houses are expected to sell for $450,000 and up and will be built by Mr. Woods’ company as well as other, select homebuilders. The entire subdivision is represented by Sarah DeWulf and Pieter Hanson of Mel Foster Company.

A development challenge

Mayor Bawden made a special effort to explain the challenges Mr. Woods and his company took on by choosing to develop the former Welch Farm on the top of Riverdale Hill overlooking the Mississippi Valley. “There are all kinds of springs, bedrock and unexpected challenges that made putting a road into the addition from State Street particularly challenging,” he said. “We salute Seth’s persistence and determination to make things work and are excited to see him, his family and his company succeed.”

In the nearly two years that Woods Development and Construction worked on preparing the site for houses, Mr. Woods and his company had to face record rainfalls, mudslides, sub-surface bedrock, persistent springs and the expected complaints and concerns from neighbors upset about dust, dirt, lights and noise.

“It was tough at the start,” confessed the mayor. “But over time, the City and Woods Development and Construction have established a working rapport that continues to improve as the project takes shape, property is sold, homes are built and new neighbors move in. If Seth and his company succeed, Riverdale succeeds, it’s that simple.”

Sales of lots in the first phase of the project that opened on Wednesday have been brisk with over 60% of the lots selling as soon as the final plat was approved. Woods Development is currently pulling together engineering drawings for the second phase of the project (there are six phases in total) which should be presented to the City for approvals this spring.

Riverdale to work with The Schebler Company to address traffic concerns

Riverdale to work with The Schebler Company to address traffic concerns

Located on Fenno Road, south of Hwy 67 (State Street), The Schebler Company employs dozens of workers who have to turn on and off of the busy state highway on their way to and from work every day. Late last year, Jim Anderson, the CEO of The Schebler Company asked for help from Riverdale, Bettendorf and the Iowa DOT to address what he saw as a growing safety concern for his employees and other motorists on the highway. 

Friday, Mayor Mike Bawden and Interim City Administrator, Lisa Kotter, met with Mr. Anderson and his team as well as representatives from IDOT, the City of Bettendorf, the Bi-State Planning Commission and the Quad City Chamber of Commerce in an attempt to quantify the issues at hand and discuss possible solutions. As a result, Riverdale will initiate requests with IDOT to conduct an independent study of traffic on that section of State Street and to identify possible traffic control solutions such as lights, barriers or other construction that will help make the intersection safer for motorists.

Riverdale and Bettendorf will also work together to increase enforcement of the speed limit on that section of State Street. Although the limit is set at 55 mph, cars are frequently traveling at higher rates of speed which makes it difficult for drivers attempting to cross traffic to evaluate whether or not it’s safe to venture across lanes of on-coming traffic.

Touring the plant

Following the meeting, Mr. Anderson and Lance McDanel, Vice President at The Schebler Company, gave a personal tour of their manufacturing facilities and offices to Mayor Bawden and Administrator Kotter.

Mayor Mike Bawden and Jim Anderson, CEO of The Schebler Company located on Fenno Road, south of State Street in Bettendorf.

The Schebler Company has been located next to Riverdale since 1990 and has grown to include a large custom fabrication operation in addition to its industrial chimney and HVAC fabrication operations. They aggressively invest in manufacturing technology and training to keep them competitive in the markets in which they operate. Products manufactured at their Bettendorf location are shipped to customers throughout the US and some international destinations.

According to material provided by the company:

Schebler has a reputation for exceptional workmanship and a relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction, which sets them apart from their competition. Each of their products and services offer a unique value proposition through product design, delivery period, customer support, engineering, quality and/or manufacturing capabilities. Whether delivering a product or a service, Schebler strives to provide individualized solutions that meet the specific needs of their customers.

Riverdale is proud to have The Schebler Company as a good neighbor and looks forward to an on-going, mutually beneficial relationship in the coming years.

Council accepts public improvements related to Phase 1 of Woods Estates Subdivision at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting.

Council accepts public improvements related to Phase 1 of Woods Estates Subdivision at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting.

(Updated: 01-29-2020) The City Council accepted the conveyance of the public improvements offered by Woods Construction and Development on a unanimous vote.

(Original Story: 01-27-2020)

A drawing showing the public right-of-way and easements related to Phase 1 public improvements for Woods Estates of Riverdale. (click to enlarge)

Tuesday evening, at its regular meeting, the City Council of Riverdale will consider accepting the “public improvements” associated with the first phase of the Woods Estates of Riverdale subdvision. This means the City will receive and promise to maintain the sanitary sewer, storm sewer and street paving construction as part of the overall infrastructure for Riverdale. Not included in the conveyance at this time are the outlots (A and B) and detention basins located adjacent to the first phase.

Acceptance of the public improvements makes the intersection and first part of Madison Drive, Gwenyth Way and Mason Lane “city streets” that Riverdale will need to maintain and anyone who moves into homes on those streets will receive the same services (i.e. garbage/recycling pick-up, street cleaning and snow plowing) that all other Riverdale residents receive.

With the first homes currently under construction, it’s entirely possible people could be living in Woods Estates by during the second half of this year.

Notes and Conditions

There are certain conditions the developer needed to meet in order to hand over the streets and infrastructure to the City. As spelled out in the Development Agreement between Riverdale and Woods Construction & Development, those conditions are:

The sub-contractors who installed the sewers, built the roads, etc. need to stand behind their work for two years. That guarantee is provided in the form of a Maintenance Bond worth approximately $900k. Additionally, KE Flatwork, the sub-contractor who did the road paving will provide an additional, 2-year guarantee on a portion of Madison Drive that was not completely inspected prior to final paving to ensure no settling that might cause cracking or other problems with the road.

Woods Construction needed to show evidence that all costs related to the construction and installation of the public improvements were paid. Seth Woods provided waivers from all of his sub-contractors showing payment in full.

The construction of the public improvements needed to be completed in compliance with engineering drawings supplied and ok’d by the City. The City’s engineering firm, MSA Professional Services, reviewed the work against the approved drawings and provided a written opinion to the City that the work did, in fact, meet the requirements set forth in those plans and drawings.

Finally, Woods needed to promise to finish striping the road and marking the intersection with lanes once weather permitted this spring. Everyone agreed that trying to stripe/paint during the winter would be ineffective.

Planning & Zoning makes conditional recommendation for Woods Estates Phase 2 plat approval

Official opening of Woods Estates of Riverdale set for February 5th

An official ribbon cutting ceremony marking the opening of Woods Estates of Riverdale has been set for 11am on Wednesday, February 5th. Residents of the city are invited to attend and join city officials, representatives from Woods Construction and Development and members of the Quad City Chamber of Commerce to mark the occasion.

If you’re unable to attend the event, don’t worry. We’ll add pictures and links to coverage of the event after it occurs to this post on our website.

Illinois-bound drivers will see some changes due to I-74 bridge construction modifications.

Illinois-bound drivers will see some changes due to I-74 bridge construction modifications.

Traffic patterns near the I-74 bridge in Illinois and Iowa will change once again this spring as work continues on the bridge and highways carrying traffic from one state to the other. The Iowa DOT provided a comprehensive review of progress to-date and plans for the future to the Bi-State Regional Commission and its members at the group’s December 18th meeting.

The City of Riverdale is a member of the Bi-State Regional Commission.

Construction progresses

Progress continues on both sides of the river. In Illinois, construction is headed into its third year with work more than half-way done. Over $147 million has been spent to-date diverting roads, building new bridges and ramps to the new bridge structures.

In Iowa, work in downtown Bettendorf has been underway a bit longer and $31 million of the budgeted $33 million has been spent on the “Westbound Viaduct” portion of the project. Other paving and related work north of Mississippi Blvd started in the spring of last year and appears to be nearing the half-way point. Work is expected to begin on the “Eastbound Viaduct” portion of the project this coming summer (a contractor should be selected in June/July).

The biggest part of the entire project is the construction of the new bridge spans and destruction/dismantling of the old spans. The construction part of the project is estimated to cost somewhere around $342 million. Of that, more than $256 million has already been paid. The destruction/dismantling project is scheduled for bidding this spring with selection of a contractor set for the first part of 2020. The estimated cost for removal of the old bridge is expected to run around $21 million.

Traffic patterns are expected to change this spring

Part of the report made by DOT included an explanation of projected traffic pattern changes in Bettendorf and Moline due to the progress of the construction. Current plans for Iowa and Illinois-bound drivers are as follows:

In Bettendorf:

If you’re headed south on I-74 from north of Middle Road, make note of the fact you will not be able to exit once you pass the Middle Road exit until you get to Moline. So if you need to go to downtown Bettendorf, you should exit at Middle Road, head east to Kimberly and then proceed down Kimberly Road to downtown Bettendorf (Grant Street/US 67 Access).

If you’re headed south on I-74 to Illinois, be prepared to shift from two lanes of southbound traffic to one lane of shared north/south traffic on the northbound side of the road once you pass Middle Road. Once you pass over the crest of the hill and are headed downhill to the river, you’ll be able to shift back to the left-hand lanes before merging with on-coming traffic from the Grant Street and State Street on-ramps in downtown Bettendorf.

If you’re coming into Iowa from Illinois, you’ll still need to take the first exit off the bridge which will bring you to Grant Street/US-67. From there you can head to Davenport (left) or Bettendorf and Riverdale (right).

If you want to continue north on I-74, you’ll need to proceed through the Grant Street/US-67 intersection and get back on the 14th street on-ramp. This traffic pattern is currently in place.

In Moline:

The initial plan for handling the I-74 traffic in Moline attempted to keep all the traffic on or near the existing highway which caused some confusion for people who were trying to get to downtown Moline rather than across the river (see original plan illustration).

Iowa-bound traffic will separate from downtown-bound traffic at the Avenue of the Cities on-ramp with Iowa-bound traffic getting on I-74 and heading to the end of the re-constructed highway, just past River Drive. After making a U-turn onto the exit ramp of the new bridge, drivers will need make a right to get back on the on-ramp to the current bridge and head north into Iowa.

For downtown-bound traffic, they can either get onto 19th Street from the intersection of I-74 and Avenue of the Cities or, if they’re already on I-74, they can take the 7th Avenue exit to downtown. The 7th Avenue exit will require drivers to make a right onto 7th and then two blocks later, a left onto 23rd Street.  From there, drivers can chose to take 4th Avenue or River Drive into downtown Moline.

Illinois-bound drivers coming across the bridge from Iowa can take the River Drive exit which loops under I-74 and ends at a stop light on River Drive. From there, they can turn left (to gain downtown access) or right (to head towards East Moline).

For drivers who want to continue into Illinois, they must take the 7th Avenue exit once they cross the river and then wind through two lanes of traffic to get onto 19th Street and head south. That street eventually crosses under I-74 a second time and brings drivers to the west side of the I-74/Avenue of the Cities interchange. From there, drivers can head straight to get back on I-74 or make a left or right into Moline.

The result of all these changes is projected to be an additional 2-3 minutes of commute time. But the reduction in traffic will allow the road projects on the Moline side to be completed on time (avoiding nearly $7 million in cost overruns due to delays) and no further route alterations made until the Iowa-bound bridge is complete (reducing confusion).

New traffic signals at Arconic gate entrance should be operational by January 8th.

New traffic signals at Arconic gate entrance should be operational by January 8th.

Woods Estates of Riverdale developer, Seth Woods, informed the city that he’s finally received confirmation of a plan to have the new traffic control lights at the Arconic main entrance operational by the close of business on Tuesday, January 7th.

“Davenport Electric is done. MobioTrex is contracted by them (DECCO) and the City of Bettendorf to do the hook up in the control box and that is scheduled for January 7th – which is the soonest they were available to come.” Mr. Woods then continued, “If nothing goes wrong, the lights will be working by the end of the day.”

Concerns about the way traffic was being handled at the intersection of State Street/Hwy 67 and the new Madison Drive (leading into Woods Estates) have been raised by citizens, Arconic, the City and the Developer. The mayor and Mr. Woods have been busy contacting contractors and Bettendorf and DOT officials to try and accelerate bringing the new lights at the intersection on line.

The result has been a reduction in the time usually required to bring new lights and cameras online. “It usually takes as long as a year to get everything done,” explained Mr. Woods. The light poles (with lights and cameras) were installed at the intersection less than 90 days ago.

In the interim, the Developer erected a temporary stop sign to remind motorists leaving the Woods Estates subdivision they had to stop and yield to traffic on State Street.

But what about the lights at Bellingham?

For residents wanting to know the status of the lights and cameras at the Bellingham/State Street intersection (near the entrance to Brenny’s), work on that intersection is not currently scheduled. The City and Arconic will be meeting in 2020 to discuss the future of Bellingham Road which has not been significantly improved since its construction nearly 60 years ago. The cost of bringing Bellingham Road up to SUDAS standards is estimated to be $1.5 – $2 million and will require support from sources other than the City of Riverdale.

The lights at the intersection are in need of new cameras, timing and integration into the traffic control system managed by the City of Bettendorf. The estimated cost for that is $25 – $30,000 and would, ideally, be included in the re-build of Bellingham Road, if that project can get funded.

So, for now, no modifications are planned for that intersection.