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In the mid-1990s, the city undertook major efforts to revitalize its central business district, which had declined after suburban growth and retail changes after the 1950s and 1960s.
Today, Moline's downtown again serves as one of the civic and recreational hubs of the Quad Cities; many events take place at the 12,000-seat Tax Slayer Center (formerly known as The MARK of the Quad Cities and i Wireless Center) and at John Deere Commons.
The Quad City International Airport, located on the southern fringe of the city to the south of the Rock River, is home to four commercial airlines providing non-stop flights to eight different cities.
This airport is the third busiest one in the state of Illinois, following Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Midway Airport.
Charles Atkinson and others successfully lobbied the federal government to get the first transcontinental railroad to pass through Moline and to cross the Mississippi over Arsenal Island.
The railroad, which arrived in 1854, carried thousands of immigrants – at that time mostly Swedish, Belgian, and German, reflecting areas of economic problems in Europe – to Moline's borders.
The dam not only served as an access road between the island's settlements and the mainland, but it provided water power for a mill which Sears built to saw wood, grind corn, and card wool.
The immigrants, most of whom knew little or no English, responded to the call of "John Deere Town" by the conductor.
The railroad connected the region to the national economy, ending its previous isolation, and ensured the future success of the area.
According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 16.66 square miles (43.1 km Typical of the northern half of Illinois, Moline experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) with hot, humid summers and cold, moderately snowy winters; precipitation is distributed throughout the year but is greater in the warmer months.
The normal monthly mean temperature ranges from 22.6 °F (−5.2 °C) in January to 75.4 °F (24.1 °C) in July; on average, there are 23 days of 90 °F (32 °C) highs, 43 days with a high at or below freezing, and 11 days of sub-0 °F (−18 °C) lows annually.
Manufactured goods were increasingly transported over rail instead of by water.