The Interstate 74 bridge construction team is planning a big party next month to celebrate the completion of a new, six-lane bridge over the Mississippi River at the Quad Cities.
The massive undertaking has been underway for more than four years. Project manager George Ryan says the project is coming in on time and within budget.
“For many factors, we were about a year behind schedule and our goal was to get the west-bound bridge open by the end of 2020, and we accomplished that,” Ryan says. “Then our goal was to get the east-bound open by the end of 2021 and we’re going to accomplish that as well, and both of those, we did better than our adjusted goals.”
On December 1st, the public is invited to take a walk on the east-bound bridge between Moline and Bettendorf, while those Illinois-bound lanes will open to traffic a few days later. The old, Illinois-bound side of the original twin bridge will close the same day the new one opens.
“We realized that during the process, it’s inconvenienced people in the Quad Cities, so there have been pluses and minuses,” Ryan says. “We appreciate all of the motorists having so much patience with us. It’s worked out to be really nice and it’ll be so safe for years to come.”
Landscaping and other parts of the project will continue into next year, including an elevator in Bettendorf and decorative glass for the trail outlook. Construction started in July of 2017 and the project cost $1.2 billion.
Details about registering to attend the celebration on December 1st are available at “I 74 river bridge dot com.”
(By Michelle O’Neill, WVIK, Rock Island)