One side of the old I-74 bridge will be demolished with controlled explosives starting early Sunday, June 18, 2023.
The Iowa Department of Transportation on Monday announced plans to use controlled explosives during the removal of suspension cables and towers on the old eastbound bridge spanning the Mississippi River between Bettendorf and Moline.
The demolition operation is scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 18 beginning as early as 7 a.m., weather permitting, the DOT release said. The demolition contractor, Helm Group, will use controlled explosives to remove the suspension cables and towers on the eastbound bridge. The use of explosives will require a temporary closure of the new I-74 bridge to vehicles and pedestrians.
The river will also be temporarily closed to commercial traffic and pleasure boaters. “Safety is our utmost priority during the demolition process. We ask the public, including boaters, to be cautious and avoid the restricted area during this critical operation,” said Chris Snyder, project manager for Helm Group.
“By respecting the safety measures in place, we can ensure the well-being of everyone involved and complete the process quickly and efficiently. We appreciate the understanding and support of the community,” Snyder said.
To ensure public safety during this demolition operation, certain areas will be temporarily closed. The main navigation channel in the river will be closed for up to 24 hours, starting at 6 a.m. on June 18, the release said. Areas outside the main navigation channel will be closed for up to 72 hours.
Local law enforcement will be on site monitoring the river during the demolition process.
New bridge to be closed 1 hour
The entire new bridge will be closed to traffic for approximately one hour on Sunday morning, with a posted detour in place. Through-traffic will be routed to I-80 and I-280. Local traffic will be directed to use the Centennial Bridge in Davenport to cross the river, and then routed to either downtown Bettendorf to get to westbound I-74 or downtown Moline to get to eastbound I-74.
The bike and pedestrian path on the new bridge will be closed for approximately 24 hours beginning the night of June 17 and will be closely monitored by local law enforcement.
Residents and visitors in the area are advised to view the Restricted Area Map (see below). Access to this area, including Leach Park in Bettendorf, will be strictly prohibited. Sections of the riverfront path in Bettendorf will be closed. Access to the businesses on State Street and the Isle Casino Hotel will remain open. Additionally, the parking lot adjacent to the new bridge in Bettendorf will be closed to the public.
The use of explosives for the westbound bridge cables and towers is anticipated in late summer, the DOT release said.
For further information and updates on the demolition progress, including webcams for the demolition, visit the 74 bridge website HERE.