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BETTENDORF, Iowa — The City of Bettendorf is “reevaluating” its plan to build an elevator for the I-74 Bridge to make sure it’s being “fiscally responsible,” according to a Monday press release.
The elevator was intended for pedestrians and cyclists to use to get up to the main part of the pedestrian trail deck and then cross and come down on a trail in Moline.
The City is still working to perfect the area under the brand-new bridge that connects Iowa and Illinois. It plans to complete the Urban Park underneath the bridge with a walkable corridor that intertwines with decorative rock patterns.
Those patterns will also help with water infiltration as it heads toward the Mississippi River.
City Administrator Decker Ploehn said he wants to make sure that all of the developments are carefully considered and coordinated to “set up Downtown Bettendorf for a bright future.”
On the west side of the bridge, also known as the “West Bridge District,” leaders are planning to redo the plot with a mix of residential, office, retail and greenspace areas. The area is between Urban Park and 6th Street, just south of Grant Street.
“Our City Council’s goals for the past few years have been to continue the growth and development west of the new I-74 Bridge,” said Jeff Reiter, assistant city administrator and economic development director. “With that, exciting opportunities are ahead for the City. Remnant parcels from the Iowa Department of Transportation have been acquired and property transitions are beginning to take shape. We are excited for some great development projects that will be coming our way in the next couple years.”
Both Ploehn and Reiter added that Bettendorf wants to be responsible with its money. Initially, in 2017, the project was estimated to cost $2.2 million.
Nearly six years later, the cost has more than doubled to $4.6 million. And that cost continues to increase due to supply chain issues and inflation rates.
“In the future, City Council could consider reevaluating the elevator,” said Ploehn. “However, in light of these rising costs as well as several tax proposals being considered by the Iowa Legislature this year, we want to be careful with how we spend taxpayer dollars.”
The City says this will not change the current way that cyclists, walkers and runners can access the I-74 Bridge and Pedestrian Trail.
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