Work to Begin on Landing at Schwiebert Park - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Work to Begin on Landing at Schwiebert Park

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Work is now set to begin on a new marina in Rock Island's Schwiebert Park.

The project should be finished by October or November of this year.

The new docks are meant to draw in more people, and more business, to the area.

The director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Rock Island tells us the goal behind all of the redevelopment of the riverfront area was to bring more people in. The new docks at Schwiebert Park are something they've always wanted to have.

The $1.5-million project is being funded by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife grant, and some TIF money from the city. It will feature 23 boat slips, allowing river access to the park and the downtown district.

It will be what's called a "transient dock", meaning boaters can tie up for the day or the evening, but there will be no permanent boat parking.

"The idea is for boats to be able to come in, stop, have a picnic in the park, go downtown," William Nelson, Rock Island Parks and Rec Director, said.

That's just the boost in walk-in traffic many businesses in the area - especially around the District - are looking forward to getting when the docks come in.

The owners of Mama Compton's restaurant tell us the new marina is another step in fixing up the downtown Rock Island area, and the new development will be welcome news:

"The marina, I think, would be good for everybody. It's not just us. It would be good for Blue Cat, the bars that are down here. I think all the businesses will get more exposure," Robert Wakeland, Mama Compton's Co-Owner, explained.

Before construction can actually begin on the new docks, a diver is going to have to come in and help relocate the black sand shell mussels that are currently on the river bottom there. The mussels are a protected species, and they'll be moved to a different mussel bed next week.

Then, steel pilings can be put into the bedrock, and the floating docks installed. That will happen over the next few weeks and months.

As part of the new dock project, the city will also be adding a new dock entrance and gate, as well as a shade structure on the upper area that could be used for special events in the future.

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