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Project leaders say new I-74 Bridge is delayed

BETTENDORF, Iowa-- Winter ice, flooding, and rain have caused delays on the new bridge. The new bridge, originally set to open at the end of 2019, is now supposed to open sometime in the first half of 2020.

In an interview with WQAD Bianca Reyes, Daniele Alvarez said high water levels increase the river current, making it a challenge to safely move crews and equipment. "So that's really tough for our schedule and safety is something that we have to think of first and foremost," Alvarez said.

Alvarez also said another delay involves the long-awaited arches.

"They're actually sitting in Muscatine right now," Alvarez said. "With the conditions of the locks being closed, we're hoping those get here later this month."

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WQAD Jonathan Ketz had "Breakfast With" Illinois Department of Transportation Field Engineer Ryan Hippen and Iowa Department of Transportation District Construction Engineer Doug McDonald Thursday, June 6 on Good Morning Quad Cities.

To see what McDonald had to say about the project, watch the video below.

Iowa bound drivers are being detoured off the existing bridge to go into Bettendorf. Hippen says that's not going to change anytime soon, and Iowa bound drivers are going to continue to see a detour, until next year, However, there's good news when it comes to the Iowa bound detour on Moline's 19th Street. The Illinois DOT is going to try to make it possible to avoid the 4th Avenue train tracks all together.

"Crews are planning to have the I-74 Westbound (Iowa bound) pavement and bridges completed up to the riverfront by the end of the year," Hippen said after GMQC Thursday. "With the new westbound pavement completed we are planning on an Iowa Bound U-turn that would allow local traffic heading to Iowa an option that would avoid having to cross the at-grade Railroad tracks on 19th Street, easing the problem/delays drivers are facing when it comes to the 4th Avenue trains."

So far this year, crews have removed 13,000 cubic yards of concrete, 3.2 million pounds of rebar and 3.3 pounds of structural steel. The pavement that's been removed is still being processed and recycled to support the new roadway. Once demolition is complete, crews will be working on the sub structure, supporting the new bridge, the new steal beams, and concrete decking.

The Village Inn on State Street hosted us Thursday. General Manager Freddie Grant says flooding and construction on the bridge have affected her business, but the restaurant still opens daily at 6 a.m. 

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