The new I-74 bridge has been talked about for years… but building it could take many more years if funding from one state doesn’t come through.
The Illinois Department of Transportation, or IDOT, has confirmed that funding for its portion of the project has not been set aside. Earlier this week, Congressman Bobby Schilling sent a letter to the Illinois DOT, requesting information as to “where on the department’s priority list the I-74 bridge resides, the criteria being used to prioritize Illinois’ infrastructure needs, and a meeting to discuss how the project can move forward.”
The concern is greater than ever after reports show that the Iowa DOT is contemplating pulling back the funding they have secured because of Illinois’ lack of commitment to this project. Congressman Dave Loebsack sent out a press release earlier this week saying he’s urged the Iowa DOT to continue their plan, but expressed his disappointment with Illinois.
News 8 spoke with Congressman Schilling on Friday morning who says he feels the same way.
“This is where partisan politics has to get pushed to the side,” he said. “This is about our economy. This is about a bridge that takes almost double the amount of traffic it should. It’s a safety issue. It’s a commerce issue. Infrastructure is not Democratic or Republican. It’s red, white, and blue and it’s going to greatly help our area.”
Congressman Schilling also pointed out that it’s important the Quad Cities gets its fair share of funding when money is given to Illinois. He says a lot of that money goes to Chicago-based projects.
Both Congressmen continue to work on this issue and say more information is expected to be released early next week. News 8 will continue to keep you updated right here on WQAD.com.