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High Water Puts I-74 Bridge Work Behind Schedule

I-74 Mississippi River Bridge project website
Mississippi River below flood stage (L) & 5.6 feet above flood stage. (It doesn't look like much, but keep the enormous scale of the project in mind.)

Flooding on the Mississippi River is causing another delay in building the new, I-74 bridge.

Michelle O'Neill reports Iowa DOT Planner Sam Shea says the contractor is doing the best it can to catch up and keep workers safe.

In March, the weather finally allowed Lunda Construction to place the first pieces of the white, steel arch onto large, concrete piers in the middle of the Mississippi River. That work was delayed a couple of months because of the very cold, snowy winter.

And then this month, Iowa DOT District Transportation Planner, Sam Shea, says all the snow melt from up north pushed the river to its 8th highest level in the Quad Cities. And it became dangerous for Lunda employees to work up high, using cranes parked on barges in the fast-moving, debris-filled river.

Shea says the high water is definitely causing delays and slowed Lunda's progress. The I-74 bridge project team is working with Lunda officials every day, trying to find ways to speed up progress.

The Mississippi River is forecast to crest again over the next week or two. And the water is expected to remain very high all month long.

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.