Q. Would you provide some insight concerning work being performed on U.S. 61, north out of Eldridge? It appears that workers are adding gravel to the west edge of the northbound lane. Does this fit under the guise of "shoulder work," as it encompasses all of a mere two-foot-wide stretch? I counted seven semi dump trucks ahead of a gravel placement machine, followed by a power broom and compaction roller. I get the fact that multiple trucks saves waiting time, but all this for two feet? I teetered on laughing at this display of taxpayer dollars at work, but then caught hold of myself and wondered if I was missing something and just unaware of the bigger picture. I will absolutely think apology should I attain enlightenment. What say you? — Dave, DeWitt, Iowa
A. We contacted the Iowa Department of Transportation for more information. Catherine Cutler, transportation planner, District 6, responded:
"This is Iowa Department of Transportation work. We are bringing the shoulders back up additional aggregate. This work is contracted and the comments were about the their first day of operation. We agree, there is no need for so many trucks and have advised the contractor to not have so many in queue.
"We are doing 2’ inside shoulder and 4’ outside shoulder. They did about 16 miles — both sides — the first day.
"The reason we build the shoulder back up to the road grade is for safety for errant vehicles and also to preserve the edge of the asphalt pavement. We do not add aggregate every year so this is necessary work for safety and preservation.
"Please let me know if there are additional questions or comments."
David M. Coon, highway maintenance supervisor, DeWitt maintenance, Iowa DOT, added, "Catherine, I would just like to add that although the total length of the project is around 16 miles, the first day of work was doing the inside/left lane northbound shoulder starting near Interstate 80 with the contractor making it to the Scott/Clinton County line."
Q. I am very curious about the house near the Quad-City International Airport, the one that you pass on the way into the parking lots. What's the story behind why the house remains and who lives there? — Sarah, Davenport
A. If you mean the house across the parking lot from the former Bud's Skyline Inn, 2621 69th Ave., Moline, according to information from Moline city directories, it had been the former residence of Charles P. "Bud" Canfield. Canfield owned and operated Bud's Skyline Inn, a Quad-City landmark family business, for 30 years, according to his obituary. Canfield passed away on July 22, 2016. The Rock Island County Metropolitan Airport Authority purchased the site and is redeveloping the area. Demolition of Bud's Skyline Inn was done on Feb. 11, 2016.
To read more about Charles P. "Bud" Canfield and the Quad-City International Airport's plans for the site, visit qctimes.com/askthetimes.