I-74 bridge to open next month, year late and $74M over bid

State News

The new I-74 bridge was opened for a media tour on November 11, 2020. The bridge is scheduled to open three Iowa-bound lanes on November 13, 2020. (Zack Winiecki, OurQuadCities.com)

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) — The new Interstate 74 bridge at Bettendorf is set to open next month, a year late and nearly $75 million over the original bid.

A public ceremony is set for Dec. 1 to give residents walk-on access to the new bridge that spans the Mississippi River, connecting Iowa to Moline, Illinois, the Quad-City Times reported. The bridge will open to traffic in the days after the ceremony, officials said.

The Iowa-bound portion of the double-span bridge was to have opened by the end of 2020, while the Illinois-bound span was set to open at the end of this year. The Iowa Department of Transportation has also authorized up to $74.5 million in additional construction costs, pushing the price tag to $396 million from the winning bid of $322 million.

Wisconsin-based Lunda Construction was awarded the construction contract based on the $322 million bid, but the price rose in an effort to meet goals in finishing construction, said corridor manager George Ryan.

Much of the delay occurred in 2019, when Lunda and the DOT disagreed over whether the bridge’s arch design could be constructed for the price bid. Little-to-no arch work was performed during that time.

Groundbreaking on bridge construction was made in June 2017.

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