Construction continues on the I-74 bridge, but a big change in their work starts up Monday and Tuesday. Crews are turning their attention to the opposite lanes from where they've been since March.
The work on the Iowa-bound lanes of the bridge started about 3:00 a.m. on Monday, and what they're doing is moving the barricades so drivers are using the opposite lanes from what they've been used to seeing.
Repairs to the surface of the right-side lanes of the bridge are finished up, and now crews are ready to start the exact same work on the left-side lanes.
Iowa-bound traffic sees the switch on Monday, and everyone traveling into Illinois will see that switch on Tuesday. It is the 1/3 completion mark for the full summer project, and based on what project managers are seeing, everything is still on schedule to finish up by early to mid-August. The big thing to keep in mind with the switch is to pay attention to where you're driving and continue to prepare for traffic back-ups.
"We're going to open up both the River Drive on and off ramps, so now you've got two lanes merging into this single closure. We only had one ramp before. So, by the time you get into traffic, the next ramp wants to merge in as well," resident engineer Keith Gengler said.
The switch is happening during the early morning hours so they can have everything changed over by the time the morning commutes get too busy.
If they're still out there when you're going to work, be patient around the crews and they will finish their work as soon as they can.
"Be careful of workers along the roadway. We'll be moving barrier walls right next to the live lane, so there's a lot of work going on. They need to be cautious," Gengler said.
The work on the new lanes won't allow crews access to the exit ramps, so traffic at times may be backed up longer than normal to let their trucks move in and out.