8 in the Air: An exclusive look at the I-74 bridge progress done in one week

BETTENDORF, Iowa – Interstate 74 traffic has been re-routed on the Illinois and Iowa side for about a week.  The interstate closures began so workers could start dismantling parts of the I-74 westbound lanes, and the work done in about seven days is amazing to see.

From the ground all you see is the traffic headache form detours along I-74.

“It’s a nightmare,” says driver Carolyn McFate.

“It takes forever for me to get home,” says Emili Utz. “I’ve got two toddlers ad I’m on my way home to pick them up.”

But it’s in the air where you see the transformation of Interstate 74 in the Quad Cities.

In just one week, crews have torn apart big sections of the westbound lanes heading into Iowa, which were built 84 years ago.

“Contractors have been working double shifts on removing the existing 74 westbound lanes,” says George Ryan, a bridge project Corridor Manager.

And in that short amount of time, tons of concrete have been pulverized and ready to be moved.

Both sides of the bridge closed sections of the interstate like the one right off Kimberly Road, and already piles on top of piles of concrete have been torn up.  Luckily, all the smashed concrete and ripped up rebar is not going to waste.

“Much of the material you see will be recycled and will be reused on the project,” says Ryan.

While some crews are digging, others are dismantling, and even more are building a billion-dollar bridge over the Mississippi River.  In the meantime, thousands of cars continue to drive by seeing what’s already done.

“The roads were pretty beaten up,” says Tyler Reed. “So, I think getting a fresh clean all new road is going to be very nice.”

And there’s still plenty to be done – all before our eyes.

“Oh yeah, it’s coming along pretty well, hopefully when it’s done it will all be good,” comments Barry Hartleben.

“Just hope it goes fast, really hope it goes fast,” says Utz.

Iowa bound traffic is being re-routed on Kimberly Road to Middle Road.  That will last until about June when they detour will be much shorter.

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