Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds were in the Quad Cities Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the I-74 bridge.
The new bridge is the biggest traffic need in the Quad City area.
It’s expected to take the next three years to build which will be four lanes going in both directions, but Governor Rauner took some heat for making the trip while Illinois struggles without a budget.
“He needs to know that there are people everywhere who are going to resist and who are upset about the budget,” Collin West said. “Currently I live in East Moline and right now the East Moline school district is owed millions of dollars and there’s a chance that they won’t even open for the fall,” West said. “That all goes back to the budget and right now he’s down here in Iowa for a photo op and he’s not passing a budget,” said West.
Gregg Johnson said the bridge project is a huge deal for the Quad Cities and will be a much needed job creator, but said his issue is not with the bridge project itself.
“Our issues are with Governor Reynolds and Governor Rauner in particular,” Johnson said. “We feel that they should be taking a strong stand against trump care and against the healthcare bill that’s currently in the senate,” said Johnson. “We’re worried about millions of our citizens losing healthcare coverage,” said Johnson.
Johnson said the billion dollar bridge project has been a long awaited for decades much of which Governor Rauner played a huge role in.
“It’s something that has been a long time coming, it’s going to be a great positive for our community,” Johnson said. “Governor Rauner was a very reluctant partner, so yet here he is today doing the photo op when he should be governing instead,” said Johnson.
Becky Marruffo has been involved in the design phase since 2009.
She said it’s been a great partnership not only with the states but with the local agencies, cities and counties involved.
She said she will always remember this project.
“This is going to be a signature structure for the area,” Marruffo said. “We have some special enhancements that are going to be included in as well that really incorporate all the communities,” said Marruffo.
Cindy Perry Anderson has been in Quad City area for 16 years.
When she found out the bridge was going to be torn down, she said she made it her mission to take pictures of it every day for five years.
“It makes me feel good to be able to archive this for younger kids that might not ever get to see the bridge,” Anderson said. “To know the wonder of it and to appreciate the beauty of the bridge as it is now,” said Anderson.
Construction will begin next month and is expected to take four years to complete.
The ribbon cutting is set to take place in 2021.