Quad City residents have less than two weeks to vote for the new I-74 bridge over the Mississippi River as the top transportation project in the country. There’s national prestige and $10,000 in prize money on the line for the Quad City Engineering & Science Council (QCESC). Residents can vote daily in the People’s Choice Awards by clicking here. The nonprofit Quad City Engineering & Science Council has over 3,000 members and supports local students in studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The prize money would go to supporting the group’s student programs, including their annual Battle of the Bridges, where local students display their engineering ingenuity with model bridge building activities. QCESC also awards scholarships to top local high school seniors to help them pursue education in the STEM field.

“We take great pride in our mission to make lives better through transportation,” said Iowa Department of Transportation Director Scott Marler. “By awarding the prize to local student programs, we hope to inspire future generations of transportation professionals that continue to transform our communities for the better.”

“The weekly tally shows the bridge is currently in third place. But I know with your vote, we can bring home the win for the Quad Cities and the great states of Iowa and Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “This outstanding project deserves to be recognized for making our communities an even better place to live, work, and play.”

“Our members and students have been inspired by the I-74 bridge since the beginning of construction. Over the years, project staff gave presentations and engaged local students on all the interesting engineering and construction aspects of the project,” said QCESC President Beth Ullmark. “The prize money would go a long way in supporting our many fantastic student STEM programs.”

The Departments of Transportation in Iowa and Illinois are in the running for the People’s Choice honor in the annual America’s Transportation Awards, hosted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The public can vote online once a day until the contest wraps up Oct. 21. Click here, click the “Vote Now” button, and select “The Memorial Bridge (Interstate 74 Mississippi River Crossing)” to cast your vote. Led by the Iowa and Illinois Departments of Transportation, the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge was recognized as a finalist for improving safety and mobility, enhancing quality of life, and positioning the Quad Cities for future economic opportunity. For more information on the project, click here.