How I-74 Bridge construction crews continue to work safely, despite winter chills

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- Project Managers for the new Interstate-74 bridge said it's too soon to tell if cold weather will impact the construction deadline.

People often say it's always construction season. That means when the temperatures drop, the cranes on the Mississippi still go up -- with crews working through the ice -- and snow -- on the I-74 Bridge Project.

In a statement emails to News 8, Danielle Alvarez, the I-74 bridge Project Manager, said safety is always a first priority.

"With extremely cold temperatures, many operations must be limited or reduced for safety of the workers exposed to the elements as well as limitations on operating equipment in such cold temperatures," Alvarez said.

Co-owner at Quad City Safety, David White, knows a thing or two about what it takes to stay safe in all types of conditions. Quad City Safety is a safety equipment supplier, selling anything from gloves and boots, to hazmat suits. White said while the crews continue to work, he is thinking about their protection from the elements.

"Iron workers are a special breed of folks," White said. "When you look at what kind of environments that they work in, they're working in heights, they're working suspended over a river... I couldn't do it."

White said whether in the air, or on the ground, winter will always work against you.

"Once we have ice and snow traction becomes an issue," White said.

However, even if construction crews are fully protected, White said danger still exists.

"If all of a sudden I've got bulky Carharts on and I have this vest on, you present potential issues," White said. "Do I have the fasteners on right? Because you know I can't see it. Is it close to the body? Because again you can slip out of these things if they're not adjusted and tied correctly."

Project leaders say right now, crews are working on constructing the bridge arches.

"We are currently working on one of the most complex aspects of the project -- preparing to construct the arch which is critical to complete the bridge on time. It's too soon to say if this winter weather will impact the schedule but it's certainly an added challenge," Alvarez said

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