BETTENDORF, IA | A ribbon cutting ceremony was held by the Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Quad Cities communities on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, to celebrate opening the new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge. Dignitaries from both states were in attendance to mark this significant event.
Illinois DOT Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said, “The I-74 Bridge is yet another example of bold leadership delivering the type of improvements in infrastructure that will keep this region competitive for many, many years to come. This beautiful new structure is especially meaningful because of our partnership with Iowa and our work with federal, state and local stakeholders.”
With both bridges now open to traffic, there is a dramatic increase in the capacity of the connection between these two states. Modjeski and Masters, as part of the Alfred Benesch design team, provided design services for the two basket-handle arch bridges, which reach 230 feet above the Mississippi River. The new bridge will be more than twice as wide as the existing bridge, with four lanes in each direction.
“This new bridge will serve as a vital east-west link for the Midwest. It provides exceptional opportunities to strengthen the economies of Iowa and Illinois and improve regional and global options for moving goods produced in each of our states,” Gov. Reynolds said in a statement. “The I-74 River Bridge illustrates the promise of our states and the Quad Cities communities to all who travel across it. I am thrilled that this majestic bridge will be here for generations to come, helping to bring that promise to fruition.”
The new bridge has been in the works for over two decades following a transportation study that revealed increasing traffic demands were outgrowing the current Iowa-Illinois Memorial bridge. The new bridge began construction in 2017 and was completed in 2021. The old bridge, also designed by Modjeski and Masters, will be demolished.
For more information about Modjeski and Masters’ work on the I-74 Bridge, visit https://www.modjeski.com/projects/arch/new-i-74-mississippi-river-arch-bridges/.
About Modjeski and Masters
Modjeski and Masters is one of the world’s leading bridge engineering firms, with a reputation for technical excellence and innovation that goes beyond current standards. Established more than 125 years ago, the firm is responsible for the design and maintenance of some of our nation’s most recognizable structures. Services include fixed and movable bridge design, inspection and rehabilitation, and all facets of life-cycle maintenance, research and code development. For more information, including in-depth videos of Modjeski and Masters at work, please visit www.modjeski.com.
*Photo courtesy of https://i74riverbridge.com/