Davenport Police Chief Frank Donchez responded to concerns about flooding and potential traffic tie-ups surrounding tonight's Red, White and Boom celebration, saying, "It's what we do."
Donchez gave an update Tuesday morning on the Mississippi River flooding and street closures for today.
The city removed the flood barriers and opened up East River Drive on Tuesday to make room for tonight's fireworks show traffic. River Drive west of Gaines Street will remain off limits because of flooding, he said.
The Mississippi, which crested Monday at 18.1 feet, has flooded most of LeClaire Park, and it will remain closed to spectators during the fireworks show. Centennial Park also is closed because of flooding.
"It's a dangerous situation," Donchez said. "Do not go in the water at LeClaire Park."
The Mississippi Valley Blues Fest, normally in LeClaire Park, is being relocated to 2nd Street between Ripley and Harrison streets.
Davenport's Red, White and Boom festivities have been moved to 2nd Street between Ripley and Main streets. Rock Island's celebration has not been affected by flooding and will be in Schwiebert Riverfront Park. Both sites will have live music, thank you notes for the troops, food and beer gardens.
Jason Gilliland of Downtown Davenport Partnership mentioned alternative locations to LeClaire and Centennial parks to watch the fireworks, including from the Blues Fest and other locations around downtown.
"It's pretty easy to see them from any place downtown," Gilliland said.
Parking on the ramps is $5 and free elsewhere downtown, Gilliland said.
Beginning at 9 a.m. today and continuing through midnight, Iowa-bound lanes of the Centennial Bridge between Rock Island and Davenport will be closed. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction on the west side of the bridge, and Donchez said motorists should expect traffic tie-ups on both sides of the river.
The fireworks will be launched from Centennial Bridge beginning at 9:30 p.m., and the bridge will be closed to all traffic from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A detour route to redirect traffic from the bridge will be used during that time. Once the fireworks show is over and the bridge is declared safe, the Davenport Police Department will reopen the Illinois-bound lanes in coordination with the Rock Island Police Department.
It’s expected the bridge can then be cleared of fireworks by the contractor as well as all barricades by midnight so the flow of traffic can resume as normal.