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New I-74 Mississippi River Arch Bridges
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The Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge was once the crown jewel of the I-74 Corridor, the gateway to the Quad Cities region. The bridge spans the Mississippi River and is a vital link to the seven-mile expanse comprised of bridges, interstates and communities. But times have changed, and recent economic successes in the Quad Cities region have led to ever-increasing traffic demands, outgrowing the corridor’s existing infrastructure. Today, the Iowa-Illinois Bridge is a major pinch-point for delays between the bi-state communities linked by the I-74 Corridor – Moline, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. The Iowa and Illinois Departments of Transportation decided on an ambitious corridor improvement plan to alleviate congestion and sustain the regional economies. There were several objectives, including an increase in roadway capacities and designs for new roadways and interchanges. Most notably, the strategy called for the design and engineering of a new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge to replace the existing Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge.

Modjeski and Masters (M&M), as part of the Alfred Benesch design team, was tasked with providing final design services for the new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge. Located on a new alignment to the east, this will be no ordinary crossing. The new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge will feature dual basket-handle arch bridges. First, our engineers employed analysis models and loading calculations to vet the conceptual design. Continuous coordination with the design team was equally essential, ensuring seamless integration of the design with the overall corridor plan. In the end, the bridge design met traffic demands and matched the service life of its predecessor.

Construction is underway on the two river-crossing arches. The westbound arch was closed on May 6, 2020 with placement of the dual keystone section. Once the suspended deck is constructed, traffic will be moved onto the new span, while construction of the eastbound bridge, which includes a multi-use path, continues.

The design of the new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge marks the return of M&M to familiar territory. In 1933, our firm designed the original Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge. We later twinned the structure in 1959. 

Bridge Geometry
Length of Main Span 800 Feet
Total Project Length 6 Miles
Lanes on Structure Three lanes in each direction, with the possibility of one additional lane in each direction for emergencies

We take special satisfaction when successful assignments mature into long-term relationships with our clients. Such is the case with the new I-74 Quad Cities Bridge. The new iconic structure will represent our fifth Mississippi River crossing in the area.

-Dr. John M. Kulicki, PE, SE