What to expect from I-74 Bridge construction in 2019

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BETTENDORF, Iowa -- Drivers can expect big changes on both sides of the river this year.

For local traffic traveling from Illinois to Iowa, drivers will need to get off of I-74 starting at Avenue of the Cities and use the newly reconstructed 19th Street all the way to River Drive. From there, drivers can get back onto the existing bridge to cross over the river. Once on the Iowa side, drivers will be detoured off at Grant street to Kimberly Road to get back on the interstate at Middle Road.

According to the I-74 Bridge Project Manager Danielle Alvarez, those changes are expected to start in the spring and last nearly two months. After those months, westbound traffic will take the Grant Street exit, go straight to 14th St, and then take the I-74 exit to continue north. That detour will last through the rest of the year. Alvarez said these detours will only impact Iowa-bound traffic, not Illinois-bound.

But in the nearer future, Alvarez said the bridge's arches are expected to start going up next month.

"A lot of (the construction) is underwater and a lot of it's just a bunch of concrete out there," Alvarez said. "But to see that steel arch come up out of the air that's the next critical thing for the project."

Bettendorf resident, Worthington Treasure, said he often checks up on the progress of the bridge. He said he knows lane closures are all a part of the process.

"The lane closures just have to happen when you're doing a major realignment with all of the traffic that's going across this bridge," Treasure said. "Something has to give because you've got to tie all the roadways back together again and the only way to do that is to tear some of them out."

Project leaders are expected to release more specific details regarding the detours next month.

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