A lot more traffic changes will be implemented as work continues on the new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge. Project managers want drivers to prepare for the existing Iowa-bound bridge to be restricted to just one lane of local traffic. Or to avoid it altogether.
Consultant George Ryan, I-74 Corridor Manager, says starting Monday, March 18th, parts of the highway in Bettendorf and Moline will be closed.
"All through, westbound traffic must use I-80 and 280, and circumvent the area. That's part of the project. Additional signage is being added out at those interchanges and bypasses to tell traffic if they're not destined for downtown Moline or not destined to just cross the river especially into Bettendorf, please use the bypass."
In Bettendorf, local westbound traffic will be detoured onto Kimberly Road from the river to Middle Road (see 2nd map in photos above).
In Moline the detour will be 19th Street from River Drive to Avenue of the Cities (see 3rd map in photos above).
Message boards will be updated regularly to warn drivers about delays as trains block traffic in Moline.
The state departments of transportation expect the first few weeks to be rough. And adjustments to traffic signals will be made as needed to improve the flow of traffic. (Today's slide presentation is posted below.)
Ryan encourages drivers to plan ahead, slow down, be cautious, follow the signs, and expect delays. Details about current alerts are available at I74RiverBridge.com/traffic. The project hotline is 866.474.4255 (866.I74.4ALL).
Businesses in downtown Bettendorf and Moline are open and will remain open throughout the 2019 construction season. The City of Moline is working with the TaxSlayer Center to tell people the easiest way to get to the venue, especially for unticketed events.
Ryan and the project management team hope the new, Iowa-bound lanes of I-74 will be ready for traffic sometime next fall. The goal is to complete construction of the entire project in 2021.