Q. I've been curious about the very busy intersection at Utica Ridge Road and 53rd Street and the flow of the traffic light. It doesn't make sense. If you are heading south on Utica Ridge Road, there is a left turn lane, one straight lane, and the other is a right turn only. Why right turn only? The lane doesn't end on the south side. The straight traffic lines are way back and generally all don't make it through. I frequently go to the right lane and go straight, otherwise you have to sit through at least a second light series. Then on the side going north on Utica Ridge Road, there is a left turn, which is backed up, and two straight lanes in which the right lane does end on the north side. Should be a double left turn and one straight? Sometimes, I think the signs on the light poles were hung on the wrong sides. People blow the red lights a lot making it a difficult intersection to get through safely. — Kathy
A. We contacted the city of Davenport for more information. Gary Statz, traffic engineer, responded:
"The lane configuration for southbound traffic on Utica Ridge Road at 53rd Street was changed a few years ago. Through traffic studies, the city found that 44% of the southbound traffic turns right but only 36% of it goes straight. This volume of right turns justified changing from a right turn/through lane to a right turn only lane. There are many opportunities to turn right on red there, so not having someone at the front waiting to go straight helped with the traffic flow. The northbound traffic counts show only 17% turning right, so there isn't much need for a separate right turn lane. The northbound left turn movement comprises 54% of the traffic in that direction, so a dual left turn lane is a consideration. We will study this change to see if it has a positive effect. In the meantime the lanes will remain the same."
Q. Several readers have asked for an update on the lane closure on River Drive just west of the Centennial Bridge. We contacted the city of Davenport for more information. Brian Schadt, city engineer and deputy public works director, responded:
"While the ideal fix for the River Drive storm sewer collapse would occur while the Mississippi River is at a manageable river stage, the Public Works Department has begun design of an alternate repair strategy. The second option under design will include a cofferdam to seal the river water from the pipe followed by the installation of a gate structure in the system. This structure will not only allow for the repair of the River Drive sinkhole, it will allow for future maintenance operations within the system. This design will be completed soon, and the city will begin the permitting operations with the Corps of Engineers. The intent is to complete the repair this summer."
For the latest information on road construction in Davenport, visit cityofdavenportiowa.com/closures. To read information previously published in Ask the Times about the lane closure on River Drive, visit qctimes.com/askthetimes.