Here’s when you’ll see the “arch” of the new I-74 Bridge

Get ready for big changes on the Mississippi River!

This morning, as part of our “Breakfast With…” series, we shared donuts with some of the most important people of our area’s water taxi and representatives of the Illinois and Iowa Departments of Transportationfrom. Cris Ryder is the new owner of Donuts & More and spoke about why she and her husband decided to recently purchase the restaurants and shared their ideas for taking the Quad City staple to the next level.

We brought a dozen tasty donuts to the Channel Cat Water Taxi station at WIU-Quad Cities and hopped aboard. There, we talked live with Jennifer Hirsch with Quad Cities METRO about the 24th season of the Channel Cat Water Taxi. While the trips between Downtown Moline and the stop for WIU-Quad Cities will be a little longer due to the construction of the bridge, it means more time on the water for passengers. This year's fare is the same as last year's, making it affordable for families.

Also aboard, Danielle Mulholland, Iowa Project Manager of the I-74 Bridge Project, joined us. She gave us an update on the timing of the bridge construction on the Iowa side, including when we will see the iconic "basket handle" rise above the middle of the Mississippi River.

Ryan Hippen, Engineer with the Illinois Department of Transportation gave us an update on the Illinois side of the river. Things are really moving fast now and this Summer, vertical supports and beams will go into place for the new westbound crossing of the river.

Both Ryan and Danielle stressed safety. While they are ensuring worker safety, it's important for drivers to be safe in the construction zone. There are many route-changes and barricades that are moved day-to-day. So far, no serious accidents have occurred. It's the hope of all that this project ends that way.

Timing still supports the first public crossing of the new bridge in late 2019.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen