Just over a year ago today, the dual-arch I-74 Mississippi River Bridge opened between Iowa and Illinois, and since then it has won awards and even been chosen for a postage stamp.
EarthCam documented the $1.2 billion bridge’s construction and has released a new time-lapse video showing its beginning to completion. EarthCam's video, shown above, was compiled with 250,000 panoramic shots from webcams and live streams.
The eight-lane bridge between Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline, Illinois, stands out for its dual 236-foot-high basket-handle arches. The eastbound bridge opened in November 2020, and the westbound bridge followed December 2, 2021.
In November 2022 it won the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations Structural Engineering Excellence Award, among other honors since its completion, and in December the U.S. Postal Service announced it would be one of four bridges whose images would appear on postage stamps this year.
The bridge project began in 2017 as a collaboration between the Illinois and Iowa departments of transportation. Its design team consisted of Alfred Benesch & Company and Modjeski and Masters. Lunda Construction of Wisconsin was the general contractor.
The I-74 bridge replaced a bridge that was overcapacity and to be demolished after the new one was completed.
The new bridge was designed to improve rush-hour traffic flow and safety. The two main spans are 795 feet long. Improvements were made to interchanges and intersections, and new landscaping and lighting were added. It also features pedestrian and bicycle paths.
Average daily traffic counts on the old bridge exceeded 74,000 vehicles. It is estimated the new bridge will see 100,000 vehicles a day by 2035.