New I-80 Mississippi River Bridge Options Narrowed to 4
A new bridge between LeClaire and Rapids City will probably be built close to the existing I-80 bridge.
On Thursday, the bridge study team ruled out three of seven options to replace the 55-year-old bridge. The team includes the Illinois and Iowa DOTs, plus Parsons Transportation, a consultant.
Tony Pakeltis from Parsons says the first alternative is not feasible. It calls for tearing down the existing, I-80 bridge and building a new one in the same place. All I-80 traffic would have to be detoured for up to four years. Alternatives six and seven were eliminated because they ranked the highest in impacts to homes, businesses, and the environment.
That leaves four alternatives to study more. The second and third propose building a new bridge 50 feet from the existing bridge, either to the east or west. The fourth and fifth alternatives feature two, side-by-side bridge spans, 20 feet from the existing bridge.
For the remaining alternatives, I-80 traffic would be maintained throughout the construction period. And all the options feature six lanes including two exit lanes.
The project also includes six miles of interstate and improving the interchange with I-88. The team eliminated one of four options to re-configure the cloverleaf. But only a fourth option could be built without impacting Rock Island County's new forest preserve.
At a fourth public meeting a year from now, the team hopes to present a final, preferred alternative. Then a final decision could be made in 2024.