Weather and river levels pose big challenges in I-74 bridge project

4 The Record

A billion dollars is being spent right in front of you.

It’s actually your money and you will eventually use the product that cash is paying for.

It is none other than the new I-74 bridge.

Crews are wrapping up year one of the bridge construction.

Year two essentially begins at the end of this month.

You can see how that looks in the time lapse in the video included above provided by the Iowa Department of Transportation that started last August.
    
All 279 drilled shafts are being completed in the Mississippi River this calendar year.

You can see the westbound bridge piers come to be in Bettendorf.

Steel is being set across the piers to form the westbound bridge and off ramp.

It shows the activity from Iowa’s perspective.

But, there is a lot going on in Illinois.
    
Crews in Moline are working on the I-74 interchanges and local streets.
    
The Department of Transportation says the primary focus for the rest of this calendar is year is rebuilding 7th Avenue, widening I-74 south of Avenue of the Cities and reconstructing a section of 19th Street.

Construction of the piers south of River Drive has already begun.

You can see all of that when you drive along the interstate.

All of this has been in the works for years.

Danielle Alvarez is the I-74 bridge project manager. She’s been with Iowa’s Department of Transportation for nine years.
    
She wasn’t part of the planning process.

Alvarez inherited the project when her predecessor retired shortly before the heavy lifting began.

I sat down with her earlier this week. Here’s the first part of that conversation.

She inherited this project when Doug Rick retired. He managed it almost up until the point the construction started. She had some lead time.

Alvarez talked about what was it like to basically have someone say, ‘Here are all the plans, now build it.’

She also discussed how many people are working on this construction site at one time, how she evaluates the first year of construction and the most challenging part of it so far.
 

View the full interview in the video above.

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