Traffic flowed both ways across the Interstate 74 Bridge on Thursday night, with the Illinois-bound portion open to drivers.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday by the Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Quad Cities communities to celebrate opening the new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge to traffic.

On Wednesday, officials said the bridge would open soon, with four lanes in each direction and improved safety for commuters. The bridge includes a 14-foot wide bike and pedestrian path with a scenic overlook and connections to existing paths in both Bettendorf and Moline.

The project, which cost about $1 billion, is the largest in Iowa state history and includes twin river bridges, new interchanges, ramps, and local road re-configurations to improve mobility and operation for safer and more reliable travel for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. The project is about 88.5% federally funded, with Iowa and Illinois DOTs funding their land-based contracts, respectively, and splitting the cost of the river bridge.

The I-74 corridor serves as a primary crossing of the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities area, carrying more than 45% of total vehicular traffic across the river. The I-74 River Bridge project is part of a regional strategy for improving access across the Mississippi River.

Want to know more? Visit the project website here.