Officials looking at changes to I-74 Bridge pedestrian path after woman charged in fatal crash hits 3 people

East Moline woman charged in connection with crash on I-74 pedestrian bike path
East Moline woman charged in connection with crash on I-74 pedestrian bike path
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 3:14 PM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2022 at 4:14 PM CDT
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - The Iowa and Illinois Departments of Transportation are considering changes to the pedestrian path on the new I-74 Bridge after three people were struck by an SUV traveling on the path early Sunday morning. One of the pedestrians, 21-year-old Ethan Gonzalez, died. Two other men, an 18-year-old and a 22-year-old from Moline, were critically injured.

In a statement released Tuesday, the agencies said “We are committed to preventing incidents like this from happening in the future.”

They say the path was designed to fully separate users on bikes or on foot from vehicle traffic using concrete barriers, along with other safety features. On Sunday, the driver involved in the incident was able to access the path at its entrance in Bettendorf. The crash happened near the Moline entrance. The driver of the SUV, Chhabria Harris of East Moline, faces multiple charges, including driving under the influence.

The Iowa and Illinois DOTs and the cities of Bettendorf and Moline are taking immediate action to protect path users by implementing temporary measures including the placement of large concrete planters on the sidewalks and curbs to create an additional physical barrier between the roadway and the path entrances. In addition, they plan to install new signage and pavement markings on the path to provide more visual cues for motorists.

The statement goes on to say, “Further solutions will be implemented as we gather more information about the incident and determine the best ways to help prevent future incidents, while balancing the need for emergency and maintenance vehicles to quickly and safely access the path.”

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