I-74 Bridge Construction Reaches a Key Stage

Mar 11, 2019

People who drive through the Quad Cities on Interstate 74 should be prepared for delays and road construction.

Michelle O'Neill reports a contractor has started a key part of building a new, $1.2 billion bridge over the Mississippi River.


Since breaking ground nearly two years ago, Lunda Construction company has been drilling, pouring concrete, and building piers in the Mississippi.

Drawing of the bridge
Credit submitted / I-74 River Bridge

It's a true arch bridge design with what engineers call, "a basket handle arch."

Construction Engineer Doug McDonald, from the Iowa DOT, says a crew is now erecting the steel sections of the arch.

He hopes the pieces will meet in the middle in May or June.

Extreme cold and a lot of snow have caused minor delays, as did flooding last year. And local forecasters now say the risk of major flooding on the Mississippi is high. McDonald says the main problem contractors face during floods is the inability to stabilize the barges.

The steel pieces of the arch range in length from 36 to 60 feet. And the first one weighs about 250,000 pounds.

Contractors are also ready to resume widening I-74 in Bettendorf and Moline, from four lanes to six. That will also cause detours and delays. 

Officials from Bettendorf, Moline, and the Illinois and Iowa DOTs plan to hold a press conference on Tuesday at noon to give details about what to expect this spring and summer.