BETTENDORF, Iowa — Iowa Department of Transportation officials are giving tours of the new $322 million bridge being built to connect Bettendorf to Moline, Illinois.
Danielle Alvarez, project manager of the new Interstate 74 bridge, told the Quad-City Times that she recently led a tour aboard a ferryboat on the Mississippi River for residents interested in the bridge construction. Alvarez covered the planning, design and ongoing buildout of the bridge, which will feature two four-lane spans.
The bridge is a primary piece of the $1.2 billion Interstate 74 corridor project.
Residents reserved their seats months in advance for the tour organized by River Action Inc., which has become a popular local attraction.
River Action Program Manager Laura Morris said the group added four additional outings in September, which sold out in about a week. The group plans to offer additional guided tours of the water-based construction site next year.
The Iowa Department of Transportation awarded a contract last year to Wisconsin-based Lunda Construction to build the bridge. Construction started last summer and is expected to complete at the end of 2020.
Construction crews are working at the site six days a week to stay on schedule.
"We will work every day we can," Alvarez said. "We don't have a choice when we only have three-and-a-half years to get the project done."
Until then, residents traveling from Illinois to Iowa for work or school can expect longer commute times, particularly next year. The Iowa-bound span of the existing bridge connecting the cities will be reduced to a single lane next year.
Bettendorf resident Joyce Holland learned about all of the new changes on a tour with Alvarez in June.
"I just think it's interesting we have a bridge being built in three-and-a-half years, and this gal can give us all the answers about it," Holland said. "It's great for our area."