Construction of the new I-74 bridge brings unexpected costs for Bettendorf

City official says Bettendorf will need to spend thousands to prepare for projec

BETTENDORF, Iowa - "I am so terrified of driving over that bridge that I resist doing it," says Marie Cheak.  

Marie Cheak has lived in the Quad Cities area for 18 years. 

She says the width, traffic and occasional bad weather are some of the reasons why she doesn't drive on the I-74 Bridge. 

"It's just a shame because I like to go over there and shop and do different things, but I just avoid doing it," says Cheak.  

The Iowa Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it has awarded the contract for the new bridge to the Wisconsin-based Lunda Construction Co.   

The contract is estimated at about $320 million dollars.

A Lunda spokesperson tells Local 4 News that construction is set to begin in July. 

While that was the low bid for the Iowa DOT, it raised the original cost for Moline and Bettendorf. 

"Our's was about $350,000 higher than what we were expecting," Says Decker Ploehn.  

City Administrator Decker Ploehn says Bettendorf will spend more than $14 million dollars in infrastructure costs near the new bridge. 

"New sewers, new storm sewers and trails. We're also putting in the elevator that goes up to the bike trail," says Ploehn.  

Ploehn says the city is able to absorb the bridge cost overruns because they've had other major projects come in under budget. 

 "So we have dollars that are available or will make dollars available in the next three years as we finish the project," says Ploehn.  

Ploehn says he has been working on this project for many years and is excited about what the new bridge will bring to the Quad Cities. 

"In the next three and a half years we're going to have a little bit of chaos, but we're going to have an awesome bridge when this is all done," says Ploehn. 

Construction chaos that Cheak says is worth it.  

"It's worth whatever it takes to get it done. It's been a long time coming and I'm looking forward to it," says Cheak.  

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