Originally Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012, 7:07 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 11, 2012, 7:25 am

John Deere Road widening project delayed until June

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By Dawn Neuses, dneuses@qconline.com

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Photo: Todd Mizener
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn holds a press conference in the parking lot of Ryan's Family Steak House, 3710 39th Ave. Dr. in Moline, to announce $47 million in funding to expand John Deere Road on Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012. Pictured behind the governor are Moline Mayor Don Welvaert, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary of the Illinois Dept. of Transportation; State Rep. Rich Morthland, R-Cordova; Paul A. Loete, IDOT Division of Highways Deputy Director, Region 2 Engineer and Rory Washburn, executive director of Tri-City Building and Construction Trades Council.

MOLINE -- A $47 million John Deere Road widening project will be done in two phases with construction starting in 2013, with an expected completion in mid-2016, Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said Wednesday.

She joined Gov. Pat Quinn, state legislators and Moline and East Moline city officials at Ryan's Family Steak House, 3710 39th Ave. Drive, Moline, to unveil construction plans and the timeline.

Gov. Quinn said the state understands the importance of investing in infrastructure. He said John Deere Road is the busiest road north of the Rock River, with 44,000 vehicles per day.

"We are spending $47 million to widen John Deere Road and build a bridge to allow people to get where they are going in a safe manner," he said.

The widening project runs from 16th Street to just east of 70th Street. Phase 1 includes construction of a bridge west of 38th Street over John Deere Road.

Secretary Schneider said bid-letting for Phase 1 was moved from next spring to June, because of environmental issues that necessitated redesigning the bridge.

She said bridge construction will begin as soon as the contract is awarded and should be completed by fall 2014.

Phase 2 will be the construction of two additional lanes, which should start about the time the bridge work is wrapping up and be completed in mid-2016, Secretary Schneider said.

Paul Loete, IDOT deputy director of highways, said improvements will be made to the intersections at 41st, 53rd, 60th and 70th streets. He said IDOT will need to acquire some residential properties, but no businesses will have to be relocated.

Mr. Loete said he has seen the increase in development and congestion along the corridor and believes the improvements will make the area safer for workers, shoppers, residents and motorists.

Gov. Quinn said the Illinois Jobs Now! program is funding the project and estimated it will create 600 construction jobs.

According to average daily traffic counts from the Illinois and Iowa departments of transportation, John Deere Road, from 16th Street to 60th Street, is the busiest thoroughfare in the Quad-Cities. The average daily traffic count is 36,100 vehicles from 16th Street to Interstate 74, 41,800 from the interstate exit to 41st Street and 38,100 from 41st to 60th streets.

The average daily traffic count falls to 25,100 from 60th to 70th streets, putting that stretch below the average number of motorists driving 53rd Street in Davenport between Elmore Avenue and the I-74 exit, which is 30,300.