Crews are placing huge, steel girders on piers over the Mississippi River near Moline, as construction of the new I-74 bridge continues. Today, officials from the Iowa Department of Transportation and DNR gave reporters an update about the project.
Project Manager, Danielle Alvarez, says the steel girders were shipped in pieces by truck. Workers will connect them, creating one very long girder (around 150 feet in length, approximately nine feet in width) that a crane will lift and set into place. It'll become part of the westbound side of the I-74 bridge.
DNR Conservation Officer, Jeff Harrison, says part of his job is to help keep the Mississippi River safe for everyone. The Iowa and Illinois DNRs and the Coast Guard all agreed to put new, "Slow, No Wake" buoys in Sylvan Slough. He says the lack of waves from boats will help stabilize barges and cranes as the crews work.
The new "no wake" zone begins in Sylvan Slough on the Moline side of the river, just downstream from the existing I-74 bridge. It includes the area around the work barges and through the construction zone. Harrison says boaters who violate the no wake zone could be ticketed.
The main navigation channel will remain open, as usual. But a "River Traffic Advisory" is in effect for boaters and others navigating the Mississippi River to use extreme caution when traveling through the area.