Work underway on lock and dam service bridge

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- A bridge that's nearly 100-years-old is getting a face-lift.

Flooding in the spring delayed a $14 million project on Lock and Dam 15. It'll take one to two more summers to finish repainting the 1,200-foot long service bridge.

Drivers on the Government Bridge have seen crews wrapping a portion of the bridge in a tarp over the past few weeks. Workers are blasting off lead paint and giving the bridge a new coat of paint. This could help the bridge last even longer.

"Here in the Quad Cities it's pretty visible, so we want to maintain something that looks in pretty good condition," Project Manager Matthew Coffelt said. "Without the service bridge, we'd be unable to access the dam and maintain those pool settings that need to be there in order to keep the pool in place."

The bridge was built back in the 1930s when the dam was finished. It was last painted in the 1970s, but lead paint was used. Coffelt says crews are containing the lead paint and disposing of it properly.

Once it's all finished, the bridge will be painted the same color it was before: a silvery gray.

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