Bird's-eye or Fish-eye Views: New Bridge Program's Got It

Feb 12, 2018

People will soon be able to experience traveling over, and under, the new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge. A couple of years ago, the Iowa Department of Transportation hired Iowa State University to create a virtual reality program. And it'll open at the Moline Public Library on Friday.

Kimball Olson, Aesthetic Bridge Specialist, Office of Bridges & Structures, Iowa DOTCredit submitted / IMAGES INC/Iowa DOTEdit | Remove

Kimball Olson, from the Iowa DOT, says people will put on a headset to experience the new bridge in 3-D. And standing up, walking around is the best way to see it.

The bridge design team had already created lots of 3-D computer images to begin with. And it cost $52,000 to create the Virtual Reality Experience. Most of those funds were already in the budget to teach the public about last year's mussel re-location project.

Besides flying over the I-74 Mississippi River Bridges or driving and walking on them, people will be able to virtually dive underwater to find and learn about the endangered or threatened mussel species.

The virtual reality program will open on Friday at the Moline Public Library. It's set to be there until May. Olson says it's portable, and the National Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque would like to put it on display over the summer.