Moline Helps Bridge Contractor Deal with Flooding

Mar 27, 2019

As the water rises and falls on the Mississippi River, Moline is helping a bridge contractor deal with the flooding.

When the river is high, the current is faster and stronger.

That causes problems for Lunda Construction, which works from barges in the middle of the river. (Click below to listen to the radio story with Benjamin Payne.)

The city wants to help the company accelerate the process and keep up with the bridge construction schedule as much as possible. 

J.D. Schulte, Moline Public Works Director (file)
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Public Works Director, J.D. Schulte, says Moline helped Lunda find more space to work at the east end of Ben Butterworth Parkway.

It's a vacant, five-acre site between 53rd and 55th streets. Lunda and Valley Construction employees have been moving dirt and grading the land.

Eventually, crews will build parts of the new highway, then use barges to move the sections to the new bridge and hoist them into place using cranes.

These steel girders above Moline's River Drive are similar to the ones Lunda will use to assemble sections of the bridge deck at the site upriver.
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

The steel girders in the deck will be around 139 feet long, and the highway segments will be about 80 feet wide.

Schulte says Lunda chose the Moline riverfront because it's easier to move materials on and off barges, compared to Bettendorf where a levee limits access to the Mississippi River.

This year, Lunda will also continue to build the arches for the Iowa-bound side of the new I-74 bridge. The $1.2 billion project should be complete in 2021. 

The Mississippi River is out of its banks, flooding Ben Butterworth Park & Old River Drive. It's also rising to encroach onto 54th Street. (Photo taken on Monday, March 25th, 2019)
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News