Crucial I-74 Funds Included in new Transportation Bill
Funding for the I-74 Bridge gets an important green light in Washington today.
The US House of Representatives has approved a bipartisan $109 billion dollar transportation bill, which includes much-needed money for the I-74 corridor.
“We finally got a bill passed. A lot of people don’t realize this, but the last transportation bill expired way back in 2009, so today was a good day,” said Illinois’ District 17 Congressman Bobby Schilling.
It’s no secret among Quad Citians the aging I-74 bridge needs replacing, but word of this old bridge’s deteriorating condition is spreading to those with some serious pull.
“This bridge, one span was built in 1935. It takes on several thousand vehicles a day more than it was originally built to take on,” explained Schilling.
“When Secretary Ray LaHood was here just about a month ago he was talking about how that I-74 bridge was one of the worst bridges he’s ever seen. That’s speaks volumes,” says Paul Rumler of the Illinois Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.
Building a new bridge requires cooperation at all levels, from the federal down the local, and cooperation from both sides of the aisle.
It’s expected to cost upwards of $1.3 billion dollars to replace the current bridge.
Funding the project has been on again, off again for years, but that’s expected to change under this version of the transportation bill.
“This is a lot better than the last three years where we’ve passed small extensions, and local governments haven’t been able to plan or state governments haven’t been able to plan,” says Rumler.
Money for the I-74 corridor is a part of the House version of the transportation bill. Just how much money this project gets will be determined by how much the Iowa and Illinois state governments allot to the reconstruction of the I-74 corridor.