The mayor of Moline wants to make sure downtown businesses continue to thrive during the most challenging period of bridge construction.
Michelle O'Neill reports Stephanie Acri has told federal officials they should prepare for more gridlock than they planned for.
On Monday, all Iowa-bound I-74 traffic will be detoured to 19th Street between the Avenue of the Cities and River Drive. But Acri says that plan is based on a six-year-old study that did not adequately consider Moline's train traffic, and TaxSlayer Center traffic. The mayor is worried about safety and convenience but also the local economy.
For months, Acri and other Moline officials have been asking the National Highway Administration to use two-way traffic on the other side of I-74 (east-bound), instead of diverting all Iowa-bound traffic onto 19th Street and River Drive.
The 2013 federal study shows train traffic will only delay drivers an average of seven minutes. But Moline's own, recent study shows trains delays may last up to an hour.
She hopes traffic is similar to the National Highway Administration's projections. But if it is worse, Mayor Acri wants the agency to start working on changing the traffic management plan as soon as possible.
Starting next week, she encourages drivers to call the I-74 bridge project hotline if they're delayed for half-an-hour or longer. The number is 866.I74.4ALL (866.474.4255). Drivers may also submit comments HERE.