July 22, 2015 – Ms. Erika Witzke and Mr. Alan Meyers from Cambridge Systematics, Inc. presented the status of the Bi-State Region Freight Commodity Efficiency Plan to the Commission. The project was initiated 10-months ago to inventory the freight transportation system in the five-county Bi-State Region, assess needs, analyze commodity flows, report findings, and make recommendations for improving the freight transportation system. As part of the assessment, the consultant team utilized the stakeholders committee, industry interviews and a workshop to solidify study recommendations.
June 24, 2015 – Nick Cusick of the Muscatine County Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that in 2013, tourists spent $76,950,000 in Muscatine County and generated $91,000 in local tax receipts. The Muscatine tourism industry employed 670 in the county.
Formerly a part of Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Muscatine Convention and Visitors Bureau was reorganized by the City of Muscatine in 2013 to become an independent organization with an 18-member board. Twenty-five percent of Muscatine hotel/motel tax is dedicated to the bureau. For the first time, this allowed for a full-time staff member. On June 8th of this year the board voted to dissolve the corporation and move toward becoming a department of the city of Muscatine, but it will function the same as it has for the past two years but with a seven-member advisory board.
March 25, 2015 – Doug Rick of the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) and Rebecca Marruffo of the Illinois DOT provided an update on the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge Corridor Project. The Interstate 74 Bridge Corridor project involves the replacement of the I-74 Bridge and over six miles of corridor improvements. It is in need of reconstruction due to crashes, recurring congestion, and significant maintenance. The bridge itself is functionally obsolete with no shoulders. The Iowa bound span was built in 1935 and the Illinois bound span in 1959.