Four options left for new I-80 Mississippi bridge

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 11:17 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - After several months of digging into seven options for a new I-80 bridge, Iowa and Illinois transportation officials have narrowed it down to four alternatives during a virtual meeting Tuesday night.

Of those four options, two would leave the current bridge standing, while the other two would see it demolished.

According to Illinois Department of Transportation official, Becky Marruffo, repairing and reconstructing on the bones of the old bridge is no longer feasible due to changes to roadway standards.

“When a structure of this nature that takes so much traffic gets to a certain point in its life, we have to consider the potential for replacement or other treatment,” Marruffo said.

Of the original seven options, choices two and three place a new bridge either fifty feet to the east or west of the existing bridge, leaving it intact

Tony Pakeltis with Parsons, the engineering group in charge of the project said these options will have minimal disruptions.

“The impacts are similar amongst recommended alternatives,” Pakeltis said. “These alternatives are more favorable in terms of constructability and have the least impact to traffic during construction.”

Meanwhile, options four and five would see a companion structure constructed twenty feet either to the east or west. Once constructed traffic would be diverted to the new bridge, while the old bridge is demolished.

Then another bridge would be built along its path.

“While they do present some challenges in terms of constructability and maintenance of traffic during construction, we determined that these issues do not warrant dismissal at this stage of the study,” Pakeltis said.

With these four options officials will now dig even deeper into the potential impacts on the environment.

Pakeltis said the public comments after the original seven options were presented in May guided their decisions.

“The public comments we received after the public meeting two, for or against were consistent with these recommendations,” Pakeltis

Once the team decides on a preferred option they will hold one more public meeting halfway through next year. Finally, they will publish its final report on the potential new bridge toward the end 2023.

Public comments for the narrowed bridge options will be accepted until Nov. 10.

Statements can be made and the presentation materials are available on the bridge project website.

This is just the first step of a four-step process. Once an option for a bridge is selected, project leaders will then start digging deeper into engineering and environmental impacts in step two.

Next, they will come up with final designs and contract plans.

Finally, construction begins in the fourth step, which according to officials won’t start for at least another five years.