September 26, 2018 – George Ryan, P.E., I-74 Corridor Manager, Wood Consultants, provided a status report on the I-74 Corridor project. He was previously the District Engineer with Illinois Department of the Transportation in District 2, and managed the I-74 Bridge reconstruction in Peoria, bringing needed experience to the I-74 Bridge Corridor Project in the Bi-State Region.
Mr. Ryan provided an overview of the contractors on all projects that had been let for bid and information regarding future lettings. There have been multiple challenges to the work in the river due to flooding, and the contractor lost about 1.5 months in the schedule. While the contractor builds in “float” on a schedule to allow for some delays, the impact of flooding is reducing the flexibility in the schedule. The contractor is adjusting the schedule and staging other work when possible to alleviate the issues.
In Iowa, the contractors have been working on the new entrance ramp over Mississippi Boulevard, the spans of the new westbound deck, the new westbound off-ramp to Grant Street/U.S. 67, storm sewers in the median of I-74, and a retaining wall along 14th Street.
In Illinois, the contractors have been working on 7th Avenue, the embankment for pavement and pier construction, the I-74 mainline, setting piers to the riverfront, and preparing the for the arch assembly, which is set to begin in the fall or early winter 2018. Traffic shifted to the new pavement on I-74 south of Avenue of the Cities so that work on the outside lanes could be completed.
The project team is coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard, Iowa DNR, and Army Corps of Engineers regarding river traffic and warning boaters about the construction zone. Coordination with other bridge projects has been occurring through meetings with Bi-State and the project team.
Mr. Ryan also discussed efforts to reduce congestion in 2019. Davenport CitiBus, in conjunction with MetroLINK and the City of Bettendorf, will offer additional buses beginning this year through spring 2020. The project team will continue to raise awareness of the QC Rideshare site, which offers the public alternate ways to get around the area through transit, bike trails, and ride-sharing. In addition, the Iowa DOT will implement a Highway Helper program in the fall 2018, providing an emergency assistance truck along I-74.
Mr. Ryan stated the project team continues to meet with municipalities, Bi-State, and emergency response teams on a regular basis. The project continues to receive a large number of positive media coverage as well as attention on social media and the project website.
Next steps will include continuing coordinating river traffic safety and reaching out to the public and business groups to inform them of the 2019 detours including distribution of an e-newsletter and hosting a news conference regarding the detours. The need for outreach to the Quad City International Airport was also identified.