East Moline is revitalizing their downtown and there’s a new way for residents to find updates on the progress.

The city is unveiling a new website that will be the central hub for project information and updates on the city’s work to improve connections between the downtown at 15th Avenue, The Rust Belt area at 12th Avenue, and The Bend at the riverfront.

“The website is a collaborative space that empowers our residents and business owners to get involved in the future of East Moline,” Mayor Reggie Freeman said. “We’re excited to show what’s unfolding as we work together to create a greater downtown we can all be proud of.”

The project builds on the city’s Greater Downtown Streetscape Master Plan, which was completed in 2020. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced last year the city would receive a $23.7 million federal RAISE grant to begin the proposed improvements outlined in the Master Plan. These improvements include pedestrian-friendly connections, safer railroad crossings, landscaping and outdoor event spaces, as well as artistic details that boost the look and feel of the area.

“The lack of connections and cohesive landscaping between our downtown, The Rust Belt area, and The Bend create both a physical and visual barrier for residents and visitors to explore our great city,” said Freeman. “We now have an amazing opportunity to create a more beautiful, inviting greater downtown area.”

The next step is to hone the proposed improvements and create final plans for construction. Designs are currently being developed for the improvements, with assistance from a consultant team led by Crawford, Murphy, & Tilly (CMT). The project’s tagline “Connect. Grow. Thrive.” This tagline highlights the project’s goals of connecting downtown areas, encouraging future economic growth and creating a more vibrant, thriving community.

The website will provide ongoing updates on improvements, public meeting dates and other announcements to keep residents up to date on the initiative’s progress. Residents are encouraged to subscribe for updates and submit thoughts and questions. Public meetings will be held in 2024, where residents can dive even deeper into the project’s developments, review details of the proposed improvements and give feedback to the project team.

The Greater Downtown Revitalization Project began in June 2023. The project team will gather information about the project area through the end of the year and develop preliminary designs for improvements. In 2024, the project team will focus on gathering input from the public and key stakeholders to help refining the proposed improvements. The city’s goal is to develop final designs for improvements by the end of 2024 and begin construction in 2025.