BETTENDORF – On the day that US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited the Quad Cities, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn pledged $72 million total for I-74 bridge construction in 2017 and 2018.
One question though is whether those funds will matter if the U.S. Congress can’t pass the transportation bill in the U.S. House.
“The only way it gets replaced is when Congress passes a bipartisan transportation bill,” LaHood said.
Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling and Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack each showed LaHood the bridge on Friday. He says that major work needs to be done.
“This is one of the worst bridges I’ve seen in America,” he said Friday.
LaHood says that the only way the bridge can be fixed is if Congress passes the bill.
“Take politics out of transportation for one day,” LaHood said. “Pass a bipartisan, transportation bill, and this bill gets replaced.”
According to recent documents, the federal government could only fund about half the amount needed for the bridge. That amounted to about $560 million of the $1.4 billion project.