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  • Jack Cullen
  • Wed April 18 2018
  • Posted Apr 18, 2018

Cyclist Jeff Cozad remembers exactly when rainwater began pooling on Davenport’s riverfront trail next to Iowa American Water’s water treatment plant, disrupting his commute to work.

“It’s been that way ever since they put the floodwall in to protect the water company,” said the now-retired Cozad, who biked every day for more than seven years (2009-2016) from his home in Bettendorf to his Deere & Co. job in downtown Moline.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of the 2,200-foot flood protection system in October 2013. It separates the plant’s property from the riverfront trail, and Cozad believes the grade of the recreational path was not properly adjusted when the floodwall was built. After heavy rains, he said, "There’s nowhere for the water to go.”

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Davenport Parks and Recreation workers last week installed bright yellow swing gates along the trail near the eastern and western ends of the floodwall to alert users when rains inundate that area. The city is installing 12 identical gates in four other flood-prone areas along the riverfront trail and Duck Creek Parkway, and news of the additions has sparked pushback from cyclists familiar with the drainage issue.


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