April 24, 2019 – Rachel Bruce, Bi-State Regional Commission Planner, reported that Census Day is April 1, 2020, but outreach efforts began as early as 2018 with the coordination of programs like the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) and Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP). These programs gave local jurisdictions the opportunity to review and propose modifications to boundaries for census tracts, block groups, and census designated places (CDPs) to ensure that the Census Bureau accurately represents the geography of the region. This summer, the Census Bureau will begin address canvassing to verify structures and addresses for the questionnaire mailing. Canvassing is expected to last until August, and the Census Bureau has already begun hiring workers for canvassing activities and in preparation for Census Day.
March 27, 2019 – Bi-State Regional Commission receives federal pass through funds to plan for short and long-range transportation needs. Planning areas are the Quad Cities and Region 9 for rural Scott County and Muscatine County, Iowa. Key travel issues in these areas include improving river crossing capacity; reducing congestion; maintaining good standing for air quality; and coordinating maintenance, operations, and improvements between the modes of transportation for an effective system to move people and goods.
March 27, 2019 – In February, Rachel Bruce, Planner with Bi-State Regional Commission, provided a draft of the demographics section of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 2019 Progress Report (CEDS PR), which breaks down regional statistics on people, place, and the economy. Ms. Bruce also handed out a listing of completed, underway, and planned economic development-related projects in the Bi-State Region. She urged Commissioners to read through those lists and encourage their community employees to provide information on known projects they want included in the plan.
February 27, 2019 – Pat D’Alessandro with the American Red Cross of the Quad Cities and West Central Iowa provided an overview of the Disaster Relief Operation (DRO). It is similar to a business with management staff, logistics, human resources, and public relations/communications. The functional areas of a DRO are feeding, sheltering, and casework. The staff comes together in a very short time frame and may not have ever met or worked together. Also, the staff have to be housed and provided with transportation. Because services are generally being provided before set-up of a DRO, a handoff is required between the local team and new team, and local partners don’t know the people who are arriving. Finally, the staff cycles out every 2-3 weeks.
January 23, 2019 – Colonel Stephen Marr, Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) Garrison Commander, provided a presentation to the Commission. He manages services and facilities for the 950 acre (1.5 square mile) Arsenal Island.
The Garrison has four overall priorities:
- Infrastructure - Addressing the urgent infrastructure challenges brought on by a decade of underinvestment
- Protection - Focusing on installation and full scale protection
- Soldier/Civilian Employee Programs - Improving the readiness and resilience of individual soldiers and civilians
- Family Programs - Improving the readiness and resilience of Army families, in order to allow soldiers to focus on their military occupation
January 23, 2019 – Bi-State planners assisted with four grant applications to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program and are happy to announce that all four projects were funded. Rock Island County Forest Preserve District received $400,000 for improvements to the Loud Thunder Forest Preserve Campground, Keithsburg received $140,000 for improvements and expansion of their Riverside Campground, Rapids City received $6,300 for a new outdoor wellness center at Shuler’s Shady Grove park, and Orion received $34,000 for land acquisition for an addition to Love Park. Other communities in the Bi-State region who were awarded funds for various projects include Atkinson, Geneseo, Illinois City, and Rock Island. $28.9 million was awarded overall and the program is expected to be funded again for next year’s grant cycle.
December 19, 2018 – Sam Shea, District 6 planner for the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), reported on the status of planning for improvements to the Interstate 80 corridor and bridge over the Mississippi River. Both the Iowa and Illinois DOTs are now preparing to conduct a Planning and Environmental Linkages Study for the I-80 Bridge. Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) represents a collaborative and integrated approach to transportation decision-making. The PEL process considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the transportation planning process and uses the information and analysis developed during planning to inform the environmental review process. The common benefits of PEL are to:
- Reduce duplication
- Assist the environmental review process
- Develop documentation
- Save costs and time
- Provide a holistic and flexible approach
- Enhance community involvement
- Improve relationships and coordination
September 26, 2018 – George Ryan, P.E., I-74 Corridor Manager, Wood Consultants, provided a status report on the I-74 Corridor project. He was previously the District Engineer with Illinois Department of the Transportation in District 2, and managed the I-74 Bridge reconstruction in Peoria, bringing needed experience to the I-74 Bridge Corridor Project in the Bi-State Region.
Mr. Ryan provided an overview of the contractors on all projects that had been let for bid and information regarding future lettings. There have been multiple challenges to the work in the river due to flooding, and the contractor lost about 1.5 months in the schedule. While the contractor builds in “float” on a schedule to allow for some delays, the impact of flooding is reducing the flexibility in the schedule. The contractor is adjusting the schedule and staging other work when possible to alleviate the issues.