How I-74 crews will work through potential river flooding

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BETTENDORF, Iowa  --  As I-74 bridge construction continues, city leaders gathered in Bettendorf to discuss bridge progress and how flood season will affect crews.

Flood stage on the Mississippi River is 15ft. The river is projected to hit that Friday afternoon, and then keep rising. That rising water going to impact crews working on this new bridge, because as the waters rise, the risks increase.

"The floods are going to hamper the project," I-74 River Bridge Corridor Manager George Ryan said. "They will work around it as best as they can. Let's just pray that the floods are minimal and they are not long duration,"

Crews work on barges on the water, but flooding can loosen the barges' anchors and make them unstable.

"We call it spuding their barges," Ryan said. "It's where they set their barges in place to do their work. With flooding, they can't do that because there is not a lot of soil on the bottom of the river, so as the river rises, you can't spud."

Despite the added hazards, crews plan to work on the river during the high water. The Mississippi River flooding could last for weeks.

"The floods become a super huge safety issue for the contractors," Ryan said. "Safety is our main concern."

Crews do have a plan in place.

"Moline has come up with an area for them to pre-assemble big sections of the arch floor," Ryan said. "This will help immensely."

City leaders also announced traffic detours due to construction.

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