I-74 Bridge Over Mississippi Replaces One Dating To 1935

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Officials from Illinois, Iowa and the federal government are celebrating the completion of a new bridge carrying Interstate 74 over the Mississippi River.

State and local politicians and Federal Highway Administration staff members gathered on the the structure linking the Quad Cities recently to publicize its opening to traffic sometime this month.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the bridge, under construction for four years, is one of the largest construction projects in state history.

The $1 billion project, nearly 90% of which came from federal money, replaces an initial bridge that opened in 1935. A second span was completed in 1960. The were combined into the I-74 corridor in the 1970s when the Illinois and Iowa departments of took joint ownership and maintenance. They’ll be removed next year.

The 3,464-foot (1,056-meter) span is supported by so-called “basket handle” arches that rise 164 feet (50 meters) above the roadway.

The bridge will have color-changing LED lights operated by its host cities, Moline and Bettendorf, Iowa.