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Davenport awarded over $13 million to protect against future floods

Flooding in Davenport.
Michelle O'Neill
Flooding in Davenport.

The city of Davenport will use over $13 million in federal grant funding to make its roads more resilient to flooding.

Clay Merritt is the director of engineering and capital projects.

He says the city started to reevaluate its flood plans after historic flooding in 2019. With the help of an engineering firm, plus public feedback, it developed the Mississippi River Flood Resiliency Plan.

"One of the takeaways from that, both from a public feedback perspective and it's in the plan, is ways that we can improve the transportation network during levels of high floods from the Mississippi."

To do that, Davenport was recently awarded a $13.1 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

Merritt says the money will go towards creating a permanent detour route and making River Drive, at the intersections of 3rd and 4th streets, safer. Also, raising roads to ensure access to the Rock Island Arsenal and Centennial Bridge.

"It's really exciting to be able to get this award, it's an extremely large dollar value," he said. "Hopefully this is something that the community sees, that we created that plan and we're marching towards its implementation."

The city is already working on other flood mitigation projects from its resiliency plan, while it moves forward with the grant process.

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.