Washington Bridge Collapse Concerns I-74 Bridge Drivers - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Washington Bridge Collapse Concerns I-74 Bridge Drivers

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QCA drivers are questioning their safety after a serious bridge collapse in Washington.  

"With that bridge out there, then you start thinking about things like that more," Betty Howell of Moline says.

"When that large of a structure goes down, a domino effect as it did, it makes me question the integrity of how it was constructed," Thomas Green of Davenport says. 

There is cause for concern; the first half of the I-74 bridge was built in 1935, and it still looks the same today. 

"You're talking about 1935, so the traffic situation was a lot different, the development wasn't really happening," IDOT I-74 Project Manager Douglas Rick says. 

Today, about 70,000 drivers travel across this bridge every day. As the bridge ages and traffic increases, inspections increase too, with IDOT inspecting this bridge at least once a year if not more. 

"Our goal is to keep the bridge as safe as possible, so that's why we're inspecting it and repairing it," Rick says. 

Rick says crews are on the bridge every month, sometimes every week, doing maintenance or just checking things out. But they do recognize there's a problem. 

"It's a bridge that was not built to carry interstate traffic, it never was," Rick says, "It's obviously obsolete, that's why we need to replace it." 

Construction is expected to start on a new I-74 bridge in 2018. Until then, IDOT crews are keeping watch over area bridges to make sure they're safe to drive on. 

"We have eyes and ears looking and listening to the bridge and seeing what happens," Rick says.

Federal regulations require bridges to be inspected at least once every two years, but IDOT reps say most QCA bridges will be inspected once a year or more because they cross the Mississippi River.