It's not just a movie title - Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. The three main modes of transportation are working together in Northwest Davenport to expand our area's economy.
On Thursday, December 17th, 2015, Mayor Bill Gluba held a re-dedication ceremony at the Davenport Municipal Airport to announce the completion of a $6.5 million new crosswind runway repaving project. The project is the first phase of seven infrastructure projects to improve the economy at the airport and in the surrounding area.
"This has always been an under-performing asset and with $29 million dollars worth of improvements - 90% of which is federal money - it will enhance our economic development efforts out here," said Mayor Gluba.
With the first phase completed, the remaining six phases are scheduled to be worked on between now and 2021.
The improvements complement the city's new I-80 Transload Facility, which includes a warehouse building and outside storage area as well as 8,800 feet of track that feeds the facility and connects to Canadian Pacific's main line.
"All together, it's about a $12 million project," said Mayor Gluba. "It will allow trucks to transfer items to trains and trains to transfer items to trucks and again, it just accentuates this region as one of the industrial centers of America for businesses that want to be able to reach people anywhere in the United States."
Supporting both the Davenport Municipal Airport and the I-80 Transload Facility is Interstate 80, the country's second-longest interstate highway. Nearby, semi-trucks pack the parking lot of two truck stops outside the entrance of the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center.
The Eastern Iowa Industrial Center is the area's premier industrial park that has been certified by the State of Iowa for its ready-to-go infrastructure. Leaders from the Quad Cities Chamber say it helped seal the deal for the move of Kraft-Heinz, which is expected to transfer its operations from its old plant to a new one over the next two years.
"This is a regional asset and we want to see it work and perform more effectively and produce more revenue and business in the future," said Mayor Gluba.
The transportation "hub" is also providing more prospects and growth outside of the city of Davenport.
"We have long-term plans to develop the southwest side of Eldridge also, so it's a perfect mesh that the Davenport's northwest side and our southwest side are coming together to make this whole thing a big regional industrial and commercial area for growth out of here and for tax bases as well," said Marty O'Boyle, Mayor of Eldridge, Iowa.