I-74 bridge/John Deere Rd. expansion gets IL money

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An ambitious plan is in the works to rebuild the I-74 bridge.

It's about quality of life to Denise Bulat, with the Bi-State Regional Commission.

"We can provide those cultural opportunities, those educational opportunities, those entertainment opportunities, as well as knowing your commute to work is not going to take an hour,” said Bulat. “It's going to take less than 30 minutes."

She says more than 20-percent of Quad Citians travel across state lines for work, play or both.

Half of them use the I-74 bridge.

It highlights the need for improved infrastructure.

But, around this same time last year, the question was whether or not Illinois would foot its portion of the bill to build the bridge.

An announcement Wednesday from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's office put any of those fears to rest.

He unveiled a six-year, $12.6 billion dollar construction program that includes money set aside for the bridge and the expansion of John Deere Rd. in Moline.

The expansion covers about a two-mile area of John Deere Road starting at the Lowes and ending a little past Menards.

They hope to have this project completed before work starts on the I-74 bridge project, which right now, is supposed to start in the summer of 2018.

"We need to complete that piece between I-74 and 70th St. in Moline, so we have a very good corridor."

At this point, both Iowa and Illinois have committed by setting aside money for the bridge project.

They'll wait to see what, if any, federal dollars will come their way.

The total cost of the bridge project is around $800 million.