The preferred alternative for the I-80 Mississippi River Bridge will be discussed at an online public meeting Nov. 15, 2023.

The Illinois Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation, will hold a fourth online public meeting to present study information, review the preferred alternative, and receive public comment as part of the I-80 bridge study, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

The 56-year-old I-80 bridge over the Mississippi River connects Rapids City and LeClaire.

Participants can register to attend the meeting by clicking HERE, or visiting the project website HERE.

The I-80 bridge study includes approximately six miles from the I-88/I-80 interchange in East Moline to 35th Street SW in LeClaire.

The I-80 Mississippi River Bridge was built 1967 and is one of three major interstate bridges in the Quad Cities. The bridge has required significant repairs and rehabilitation in recent years and traffic is increasing with associated increases in vehicular crashes, according to the project website.

The aging bridge continues to face costly maintenance expenses, and the roadway design does not meet current standards.

In April 2020, Illinois and Iowa conducted an online public meeting to introduce a Planning and Environment Linkages study of the bridge and corridor. Based on public feedback and additional study, a second public meeting was held in May 2022, to present a range of reasonable improvement alternatives for the I-80 Mississippi River Bridge, and for the I-88/I-80 interchange.

A third public meeting was held in October 2022, to present a narrowed list of improvement alternatives for public review and comment. At the fourth meeting, study findings and the preferred alternative will be presented for public review and comment.

All meeting materials will be available following the meeting on the project website, Comments are always welcome. Those received through Nov. 29, will become part of the public meeting record. This project is currently in Phase I: Preliminary Engineering & Environmental Studies and is expected to conclude with a final report in mid-2024.

The project is then expected to move to Phase II: Final Design & Construction Plans.

A rendering of the repurposed I-80 bridge as the Bison Bridge, as a wildlife crossing on one side and pedestrian crossing on the other.,

The Bison Bridge Foundation – headed by Living Lands & Waters founder and president Chad Pregracke – has called for repurposing the old I-80 bridge instead of tearing it down, and has raised all the money privately for that project.

“The Bison Bridge is a concept like no other currently in the United States. It’s a land bridge, consisting of a wildlife and recreational crossing connecting the Illinois and Iowa riverfronts on the Mississippi River,” says the Bison Bridge website. “With the right support, we hope to turn it into a National Park site for visitors to enjoy for generations.”

The public is encouraged to attend the Nov. 15th online meeting to learn more about the study to date, review the preferred alternative, and provide feedback to the project team. In addition to a video presentation, the meeting will include representatives from the Illinois and Iowa departments of transportation, and the project consultant team. Exhibits will be presented, and the meeting will include a question-and-answer session.

For more information, visit the project website HERE.