MISSISSIPPI RIVER - It's been in the works for more than two decades, but this summer - you're going to start to see the new I-74 Bridge take shape.
On Thursday, May 25th, Gena McCullough, Planning Director for the Bi-State Regional Commission, was our Guest on our weekly "Breakfast With..." segment on Good Morning Quad Cities as we took a ride on the Channel Cat.
She says starting in July, we are going to start seeing more and more equipment taking over the Mississippi River.
"The contractors will have to do staging, so you’ll see some barges out there," she explained. "You’ll see some things that they’ll be doing under the bridge to get ready for the piers. I think by fall they’ll start to put the piers in and that’s when the reality will hit us."
The new I-74 Bridge is the largest public works project in Iowa and is engineered to last 100 years. McCullough says it's an exciting project for anyone who travels back and forth between Iowa and Illinois.
"We’ve been working on this project for almost 20 years – a good part of my career," she said. "It is an important crossing here in the Quad Cities and it’s one of our highest traffic locations in the Quad City Metro area. The bridge carries 77,000 vehicles per day and a lot of people need this bridge to get to work or get to the places they want to go."
The new I-74 Bridge will also include a unique feature - a trail for pedestrians and cyclists that connects Bettendorf and Moline.
"There will actually be an elevator that will be on the Bettendorf side, so people can go from Leach Park all the way up to the main part of the bridge deck, then cross and come down on a trail in Moline," she said. "This is the only crossing we’ll have in the upper part of the pool, so this is really going to be a great addition to the Quad Cities."
The new I-74 Bridge is expected to be completed in 2020 and in 2021, the old bridge will be imploded. For more on that demolition, click below: