A new I-74 bridge connecting Moline, IL to Bettendorf, IA is being built. If you drive across the bridge to get to work or school, odds are you’ve seen the impressive barges on the Mississippi due for construction.
According to The Quad City Times, the contract to construct a new I-74 bridge comes at a cost of $322 million.
The new bridge is expected to be arched with more than two lanes for drivers. If you’d like to view more photos comparing the old and new I-74 bridges, click here.
A viaduct and off-ramp connecting the two cities is also expected to begin construction along with the new I-74 bridge. The cost of the viaduct and off-ramp contract is estimated at $30.1 million.
The $322 million cost to construct the new bridge will be split in half for both Iowa and Illinois with Iowa leading in funding, according to the Department of Transportation. With Illinois’s budget crisis, many citizens are skeptical of the bridge’s ostensible progress. KWQC explains that “Illinois DOT secretary Randy Blankenhorn says while other projects in the state will halt construction, because of the partnership with Iowa, there will not be any delays to the I-74 project.” To the dismay of Illinois-bound inhabitants who have no need for the bridge, more construction in Illinois may be delayed on top of whatever was previously delayed or halted due to the ongoing building of the new bridge.
For people who travel on the I-74 bridge daily, the large improvement is a blessing. The new bridge is expected to be finished by 2021 but has been a work-in-progress since 2005. A plan to build a new I-74 bridge was proposed over a decade ago, but Illinois revealed that the state simply couldn’t supply the funds necessary to support it. In 2013, this proposal for a new I-74 bridge was revived. Since June of 2017, construction has already begun.