The Department of Natural Resources creates new safety measure for boaters

MOLINE, Illinois  -- Boaters on the Mississippi River may notice new no- wake buoys in the water by the I-74 construction site.

The DNR has placed the buoys to keep both recreational boaters and crews working on the bridge project safe.  There are currently around 200 employees working on the bridge - with around 100 of them in and around the water every day - according to I-74Project Manager Danielle Alvarez of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

"Last we checked there are over 200 people working on the overall project on site everyday," Alvarez said.  "That's across the entire corridor. We expect that will increase as we get further into stage two westbound in the end of 2019."

As construction continues on the Illinois side, the site in the water is becoming more dangerous.

"As we continue through the project we want to make sure that everyone out enjoying the river is safe and everyone working on the river is safe," Alvarez said.

Boats going over five miles per hour cause the barges to move, making it hazardous for everyone working in the water.

Boaters are urged to think about where and when to recreate, said Jeff Harrison, a conservation officer with the Iowa DNR.

"People (can) still ski the back area and jet ski in the back waters,"  Harrison said. "It's just going to have them slow down when they're coming through the construction zone. It's for their safety and the workers as well."

These new buoys will be in the water until the construction on the new bridge is complete.

Harrison says the DNR is considering keeping the no wake buoys in while they destroy the old bridge as well.