Video & Photos: I-74 Bridge wins quality of life, community development award

The unique, new Interstate 74 Bridge continues to pick up the hardware, including winning top honors among Midwest states in the America’s Transportation Awards.

One of the largest projects in state history and a transformational investment in infrastructure for the region, the new bridge was recognized for improving safety and mobility, enhancing quality of life and positioning the Quad Cities area for future economic opportunity.

“We take particular pride in delivering projects that not only improve everyday life for residents but also keep Illinois competitive for years to come,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman in a news release about the ATAs. “This award is especially meaningful because it not only shows great teamwork between two states, but helps remind the public that (the Illinois Department of Transportation) is constantly working on their behalf to boost quality of life and community development as we modernize infrastructure through Gov. (J.B.) Pritzker’s historic Rebuild Illinois capital program.”

Opened to traffic in 2021, the bridge has four lanes in each direction and provides improved safety for all travelers. The structure offers a 14-foot-wide bike and pedestrian path with a scenic overlook and connections to existing paths in Bettendorf and Moline.

The approximately $1 billion project includes twin river bridges, new interchanges, ramps and local road reconfigurations to improve mobility and operation, delivering safer and more reliable travel for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike, the award release said. It was a collaborative effort of the departments of transportation in Iowa and Illinois.

The new bridge also is an important east-west link in the nation’s transportation network, according to the ATA. The I-74 corridor serves as a primary crossing of the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities area, carrying more than 45% of the region’s total vehicular traffic across the river.

Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, America’s Transportation Awards recognize state DOTs for projects that make their communities better places to live, work and play.

“State DOTs are overwhelmingly focused on innovative solutions to address the transportation issues of today and tomorrow, meeting challenges involving climate change, equity, resiliency and safety,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

 “The America’s Transportation Awards program shows just how they’re doing that. Whether on foot, in a vehicle, on two wheels, or by rail or transit, state DOTs are continuing to advance a safe, multimodal transportation system.”

The bridge’s design also continues to get noticed. In July, it received a National Award in the Major Span category of the 2022 Prize Bridge Awards, presented by the American Institute of Steel Construction and the National Steel Bridge Alliance. 

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