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I-74 Bridge: 2nd Mussel Relocation Already Completed

IDOT I-74 Mississippi River Bridge Project - YouTube - Google Chrome 12232021 44257 PM.bmp
Illinois DOT, https://youtu.be/Qhyx0_3eqoI
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Illinois DOT
Screenshot from a video of the first mussel relocation in 2016

To prepare for next year's demolition of the old I-74 bridges, thousands of mussels in the Mississippi River have been moved.

IMG_0511 I-74 project manager George Ryan.JPG
Michelle O'Neill
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WVIK News
George Ryan, I-74 Corridor Manager/VP

George Ryan, Project Manager for the new bridge, says it's the second time divers have re-located mussels to preserve several species. The first time was in the summer of 2016. The second was just a couple of months ago.

"During the second relocation, around 32,000 mussels were moved. They represent 30 species and three are on the federal endangered list: Higgins Eye, Spectaclecase, and Sheepnose."

IDOT I-74 Mississippi River Bridge Project - YouTube - Google Chrome 12232021 44306 PM.bmp
Illinois DOT, https://youtu.be/Qhyx0_3eqoI
/
Illinois DOT
Screenshot from a video about the first mussel relocation in 2016

They joined the first batch of more than 150,000 mussels, a lot less than the original estimate of half-a-million. A St. Louis company moved them upstream to existing mussel beds. He says the same company will continue to check on the mussels a of couple time a year.

Crews have already been demolishing old pavement and overpasses on land in Bettendorf and Moline.

Ryan says the contract to demolish the old, I-74 bridges will go out to bid next spring, with demolition beginning in mid-2022. He says the implosion or explosion of the main bridges must follow certain guidelines. For example, it can't be done during river navigation season. So, his best guess is that would be from December, 2022 to March, 2023.

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor which really just means she wears many hats, doing everything there is to do in the newsroom and around the radio station. She's a multimedia journalist and serves as Assignment Editor, reporter, radio news producer, copy editor, announcer, news anchor/host, and photographer. She also writes and produces content for WVIK.org and social media and trains interns.
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