Baseball fans can finally get to Modern Woodmen Park for Friday’s home opener

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UPDATE: Davenport Public Works Director Nicole Gleason said Canadian Pacific is creating plans for getting cars over the raised tracks at all locations.

In an email to Local 4 News she said:

“CP has provided the city with engineering drawings for all impacted crossings.  They have met with city leadership and ensured us that they are committed to restoring crossings.

We are meeting with CP on a weekly basis to assess progress.  Since this flood is extended in nature, many of the timelines will not be clear until we can see the river below major flood stage.”

EARLIER VERSION: The River Bandits will finally have their home opener this Friday, which will be more than 20 days after they were supposed to, thanks to a new pedestrian walkway.

The team has missed eight home games because Canadian Pacific raised the railroad tracks so its trains could keep running in the flood. With the trains still going, park crews couldn’t put up their bridge that usually gets baseball fans over the floodwater.

The new walkway was Canadian Pacific’s answer to the problem and a spokesperson tells Local 4 News it will be ready for the home game. 

“We are finally going to play baseball in Modern Woodmen,” said River Bandits General Manager Jacqueline Holm. 

Holm has been with the team for four seasons and said she was told the bridge option would always work. 

“That was the case until the railroad moved the tracks,” she said. “So that was something that nobody saw coming.”

We weren’t able to see just how high Canadian Pacific raised the tracks until the water receded this week. Now it’s clear they are several feet higher. 

The new ramp matches the height of the raised tracks.

“We’ll be safe through a 21-foot flood stage,” Holm said.

The structure crews are building now is temporary. A spokesperson for the railroad says they are planning on creating a permanent one later this year.

But Local 4 News still has questions: How much did losing the home games cost the river bandits? 

“The financial implications of what’s gone on have yet to be seen,” Holm said. “It’s been hard on our staff because some of them have had to find other jobs.” 

Who is going to build a ramp for cars to get over the tracks? We are still waiting on a response from Canadian Pacific and the city. 

After Friday’s home opener the River Bandits will be back in Modern Woodmen Park again on Saturday for a double header. The first game will be free to the public.

Holm said parking at the stadium will be limited, but the city is offering free parking in its downtown ramps for the games.

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