Bettendorf puts I-74 elevator project on hold

BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) – As development in downtown Bettendorf continues to accelerate, city officials announced the city is reconsidering plans to build an elevator on the I-74 bridge.

In a media release from Bettendorf city officials, City Administrator Decker Ploen and Assistant City Administrator and Economic Development Director Jeff Reiter stated that the City of Bettendorf wants to be financially responsible with the I-74 elevator project. When project engineers first estimated the price of the elevator project in April 2017, it was $2.2 million, according to city officials.

Now, nearly six years later, that cost has doubled to $4.8 million, due to supply chain problems and inflation, which is set to hit its highest level in 2022 since the early 1980s, Ploen said. and Reuters.

“In the future, the City Council may consider reconsidering the elevator,” Ploen said. “However, given these spending increases, as well as several tax proposals being considered by the Iowa Legislature this year, we want to be cautious about spending taxpayer dollars.”

But that won’t change the current route for bicyclists, pedestrians and runners to the I-74 bike and pedestrian path, according to city officials. The access point, located at the base of the ramp on the west side, is ADA accessible and adjacent to the public parking lot off Grant Street, which is free for all to use, city officials said.

In addition, Ploen said the city still has plans to transform the areas under and west of the bridge, saying, “We want to make sure we carefully consider and coordinate all of these developments to build downtown Bettendorf for a bright future.”

Plans include completing it City parkwhich is located under the bridge and includes a pedestrian corridor with decorative stone patterns that help water infiltration, stated in a press release of the city authorities.

As for the west side of the bridge, called the West District, the plan is to include the land between Urban Park and 6th Street, south of Grand Street, with a mix of residential, office, retail and green space. areas that preserve the neighborhood’s historic character and also connect to the Mississippi River and the Mississippi River Trail, the release said.

“Our city council’s goals for the past several years have been to continue development and growth west of the new I-74 bridge,” said Assistant City Administrator and Director of Economic Development Jeff Reiter. “Thus, there are exciting opportunities ahead for the city. The remaining lots were acquired from the Iowa Department of Transportation, and the transition of ownership is taking shape. We’re excited about some of the big development projects coming our way over the next couple of years.”

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