Progress 2003
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Pine Hill Cemetery
1530 E 39th St.
Davenport Ia
(563) 391-5130
Pine Ridge Apartments
3632 43rd St.
Moline Il.
(309) 797-3692
Pine Ridge Apartments
3632 43rd St.
Moline IL
(309) 797-3692
Pizza & Subs
3700 Blackhawk Rd.
Rock Island Il.
(309) 788-7400
Pizza & Subs
3700 Blackhawk Rd.
Rock Island Il.
(309) 788-7400
Website
Pleasant Valley Community School District
Pleasant Valley IA
563-332-5550
Website
Port Byron State Bank
124 N. Main St.
Port Byron Il.
(309) 523-2161
Port Byron State Bank
124 N. Main St.
Port Byron Il.
(309) 523-2161
Website
Premier Computer Services
526 W 2 St.
Davenport Ia
(563) 322-1952
Website
Premier computer Services
3003 48th Ave.
Moline Il.
(309) 764-7123
Premier Computer Services
526 W 2 St.
Davenport Ia
(563) 322-1952
Website
Principal Life Insurance Co.

R & R Custom Homes, Inc.
Offering Stratford homes

February 14, 2003 12:20 PM

Is New Boston ferry feasible again?

By Jason M. Rodriguez, Staff writer

Several wing dams and the Iowa River have made the proposed Mississippi River ferry in New Boston here a possibility.

The twirl caused by the dams and the Iowa River has caused the Mississippi River to deepen at Brass Island. It's a discovery made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that prompted communities in Louisa County, Iowa, and Mercer County, Ill., to explore returning ferry service between the states.

``It's exciting to learn about the possibilities, the tourism dollars that could be brought here because of the ferry,'' said Jim Barnes, chairman of the Mercer Growth Organization. ``By this summer, we'll learn about all the possibilities and if the ferry is feasible.''

In fact, progress session dates have been scheduled by Dunbar Jones Partnership and Stanley Consultants of Muscatine, who are teaming up for the feasibility study. Though specific times and locations have not been set, the session will be concuted March 8 and 14, April 15, May 1, June 1. A final report will be presented July 15.

The Mississippi River has no crossings connecting Illinois and Iowa between Muscatine and Burlington, Iowa, a distance of about 50 miles.

The task force has a total of $88,260 -- a $58,260 grant and $30,000 in local contributions -- to spend on the feasibility of a ferry from New Boston to Oakville, Iowa. The study also will look at what tourist attractions could be expected for the towns' riverfronts.

Cost estimates to build ferry landings and road improvements are more than $1 million. The ferry could transport 15,000 vehicles a year, cost about $70,000 to operate and generate $60,000 to $90,000 a year in revenues.

Mr. Barnes said it's been a project that Mercer County officials have been looking forward to working on for a long time.

``The potential is there,'' he said. ``Now we just need proof that this is a money maker. We'll need to know for sure.''

Staff writer Jason Rodriguez can be reached at (309)

582-5138, or by e-mail at href="mailto:jayrodriguez@qconline.com">jayrodriguez@qconline.com.