As the weather heats up in the bistate region, so will the 2022 Quad Cities bridge construction season.
As a result, the Bi-State Regional Commission and departments of transportation are urging area motorists to take precautions and plan ahead for traffic restrictions and lane closures into the fall.
Restrictions currently are expected to impact all but one of the area’s major river crossings between now and November. However, as of last week, the new Interstate 74 Bridge reported “no restrictions anticipated,” according to the community and transportation planning organization’s annual Bridge Restriction Notice.
Construction projects are significantly impacting at least three bridges. For example, beginning Monday, April 18, nightly lane closures are expected on the Interstate 80 bridge.
For the next two weeks, lanes carrying motorists between LeClaire and Rapids City will be closed for bridge washing in each direction from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Mondays through Thursdays, the Illinois Department of Transportation said in a news release on Friday, April 15.
The Illinois DOT also warned that intermittent lane closures are beginning on Illinois 84 under the bridge in Illinois and U.S. 67 in Iowa.
The I-80 and U.S. 67 bridge lane closures weren’t the first to hit the Quad Cities this year. As motorists who travel it can attest, Interstate 280 Sgt. John F. Baker Jr. Bridge shifted in March to the westbound lanes to enable resurfacing and replacement of the eastbound lanes.
The $50 million bridge deck replacement project requires rerouting lanes into head-to-head traffic, one lane in each direction.
Additional Quad Cities bridge projects expected to impact motorists in the region, according to Bi-State, include:
- Government Bridge: Swing span closures for river traffic, with periodic delays, March-December; and Saturday bridge washing restrictions for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians, April-May.
- 27th Street Moline Rock River Bridge: Bridge washing lane closures, late April.
- Interstate 80 Bridge at Rock River: Bridge washing lane closures, late April-early May.
- Interstate 74 Moline Rock River: Bridge washing. No work allowed 2-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and Friday from 7-9 a.m. and 2-6 p.m.
- U.S. 67 (Milan) Rock River: Bridge washing lane closures, April-May.
- Veterans Memorial Bridge at Carr’s Crossing: Bridge washing, lane closures, April-May.
To help motorists keep traffic moving as quickly and safely as possible, Bi-State also is sharing tips to help residents and businesses reduce congestion at bridge crossings. They include:
- Use teleconferences or webinars to reduce trips to meeting locations.
- Give extra time to get to work, meetings, and other events/activities.
- Travel during off-peak hour times by avoiding 6:30-8:30 a.m. and 3:00-5:30 p.m.
- Allow more flexible schedules for employees during the peak construction periods.
- Check daycare/childcare options for extended hours if guardians run behind due to bridge congestion.
- Consider walking or bicycling. Park nearby and take the last leg of your trip by walking or bicycling via the Government Bridge or Centennial Bridge. Check www.QCTrails.org for trails restrictions and detours.
- Sign up for QC Rideshare and start your carpool daily or once a week. It adds up to savings and less congestion.
- Take public transit to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
- Tune-up vehicles and keep them fueled to prevent breakdowns on the bridge crossings.
- Use technology to monitor traffic, such as 511ia.org, mobile traffic apps, and the River Cam at Lock and Dam 15 for seasonal barge traffic.
A Quad Cities Rideshare dashboard is available here to connect the Iowa Rideshare program for carpooling options to help reduce traffic congestion and maintain good air quality.
Bus and bike options also are available from the three metropolitan mass transit systems. Drivers can call (309) 788-3360 for information on Bettendorf Transit, Davenport CitiBus, or MetroLINK.