Q: The lanes are all open again on 53rd Street at Interstate 74 in Davenport. Is the work finally done or will there be more to do in the spring?
— Davenport shopper
A: It’s very close to being done. Mark Brandl, resident construction engineer for the Iowa Department of Transportation, said the current Interstate 74/53rd Street project is roughly 99 percent complete.
“We are currently in the final review process and have found several small items that our contractor needs to address before we will accept the project,” Brandl said.
Those items include:
Adding some more pavement markings.
Adjusting and adding some signs.
Addressing pavement smoothness or texturing found to be out of tolerance.
Finishing some of the lighting fixtures that failed or were improperly installed.
Possible other minor items that may be discovered in the near future.
“We hope to have the project 100 percent complete by this year, however some of the added work (like signs and pavement markings) may end up being delayed until next year,” Brandl said.
Of course, he notes, all of this depends on the availability of materials and good weather. Whatever the case, there should be no major impact on traffic anymore, he said.
Projects such as this are also followed up with an erosion control project. That will be done by a separate set of contractors in 2013, but should have very little impact on traffic next year, he said.
Q: When is the HuHot restaurant going to open in Davenport?
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— Sandy, Camanche, Iowa
A: Brendan Crowley, operating partner of the franchise group building the store, said they hope to open the restaurant around Jan. 1 at Pheasant Creek Crossing, 3006 E. 53rd St., Davenport. The ownership group has 17 Midwest stores, including eight in Iowa. HuHot’s operation is similar to other Mongolian grill restaurants, with HuHot featuring signature sauces and Mongolian murals as decor. Crowley said the management staff has been hired and hiring of about 70-75 employees will begin soon.
Q: On the USA television network, at the end of the upcoming program promos, they always say “characters wanted.” What does that mean?
— Connie, Eldridge
A: The USA network, which has been showing original programming since the 1980s, adopted the slogan “Characters Welcome” in a 2005 rebranding to emphasize its character-based series, such as “Monk.” Its original shows now include “Burn Notice,” “Common Law,” “Covert Affairs,” “Fairly Legal,” “Graceland,” “In Plain Sight,” “The Moment,” “Necessary Roughness,” “Political Animals,” “Psych,” “Royal Pains,” “Suits,” “White Collar” and “WWE Raw.”
(Answers provided by Times community editor Linda Watson and reporter Doug Schorpp.)