River Dr. Work Near East Village Done In Time For Big Weekend - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

River Dr. Work Near East Village Done In Time For Big Weekend



     It was a long time coming for the first full day of all four lanes back open on River Drive in Davenport from Mound Street all the way to Bettendorf.  For a lot of businesses it's just in the knick of time as they gear up for this weekend's annual Christmas in the Village event. It's one of the biggest weekends that attracts visitors to the Village. Business owners hope that having major artery back open should help bring more people down. 
     The streets and shops in the East Village are all dressed up for the holidays and business owners are busy getting ready for a big weekend. "Living windows, string quartets, horse-drawn wagon rides," said Tom Lagomarcino. "Lots of people squeezed in within a short period of time."
     The annual Christmas in the Village usually attracts hundreds, if not thousands of people. However, up until Tuesday the construction that seemed never ending was becoming quite a concern.  "Not only the event but the whole Christmas season. When you have traffic problems through your busiest season it worries you a little bit," said Jim Sexton, owner of Blue Sky gifts.
     The work on River Drive has been going on in different sections since May. Lagomarcino's has seen about a 20 percent drop in business and more of the same goes for other shops. "Obviously this summer was a little slow, people were apprehensive to come down here," said Tracy Pettett, owner of The Added Touch. That's why the holiday shopping season and events like this are something these places are especially counting on this year.
     "It is wonderful to have River Drive open again. We kind of forgot what it was like because it's been going for so long," added Lagomarcino. "We're seeing people we haven't seen in a while."
      No barricades nearby is going to help ease congestion and owners hope will attract people that may have been avoiding the area because of the road work. They say now only Mother Nature can stand in their way. "If the weather's nice there will be tons of people," added Sexton.
     The annual Christmas in the Village is this Friday and Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. The event includes a live nativity, Santa, living windows, and a fireworks display on Saturday night. It's a tradition for more than 28 years.
     Crews are still finishing up work a little ways down from the Village. One lane in each direction from Mound to Oneida remains closed, as well as Bridge Avenue at River Drive. Crews are finishing up water main and storm sewer work in that area. Those locations should re-open on the 22nd.