Repairs Will Close Centennial Bridge 30 Days This Summer - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Repairs Will Close Centennial Bridge 30 Days This Summer

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Major repair work will close the Centennial bridge for a month this summer after inspectors found more work was needed on the bridge than originally planned.

It's a story we first brought you from a TV-6 investigation this summer.

Centennial is the worst rated bridge in the Quad Cities.

On a scale of zero to 100, with zero being worst, the Centennial scores a 3.4.

In that 3.4 overall score, Centennial's superstructure, the silver painted steel you see driving over, has suffered the most.

The inspection reports show they're in serious condition, suffering from significant rust.

The bridge closure is needed to repair steel running crosswise on the bridge.

That closure is not popular with drivers, or business owners.

"That's going to be hectic, really hectic," says Certified Nursing Assistant Almeta Smith. She drives across Centennial bridge at least twice a week to visit family. She says a month long closure will cause many problems. Especially if her backup bridge, the Government bridge, keeps getting opened for barge traffic.

"It was going to be a disaster, especially for the people that use public transportation to get to and from work, it's going to be difficult for a lot of people," says Smith.

Painting contractor Erik Richey travel Centennial a lot, "Probably several times a day, I travel back and forth for work."

He says he'll have to choose his routes carefully. His job takes him all over the Quad Cities. He expects the summer closure to add to his driving time.

"It could cost me time in trying to get to work, having to get up earlier, leave earlier, it's just going to change my lifestyle," says Richey.

Bi-State Regional Commission Planning Director Gena McCullough says no one wanted to close the bridge temporarily. "Our goal is to keep open as many lanes as possible, the situation is with the Centennial bridge, the work actually necessitates the full closure of that bridge," says McCullough.

She says 20 percent of Quad Citians live in one state and work in the other. Putting the closure in the late summer helps ease one issue.

"That's one of the times when there's the fewest impact to our local festival season," says McCullough.

Business owners still worry about the impact to their customer base.

"I do have a lot of Davenport customers and they do use the Centennial," says Barkan's owner Steve Barkan.

He says he'll have to wait and see what effect the closure will have this summer.

"I don't look forward to it but I see it's necessary," says Barkan.

He hopes the repair doesn't take longer than planned.

IDOT says the repairs will fix the most critical issues on the bridge.

It has said Centennial will be the next Quad City bridge targeted for replacement once work on the new I-74 bridge is complete.

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