After more than three years of construction, the new Iowa-bound span of the Interstate 74 bridge is to open Friday.
"Construction crews are working quickly to prepare the Iowa-bound bridge and the work is nearly complete," the Iowa DOT, which has led the project, announced Tuesday. "Weather permitting, contractors will be moving barrier walls and preparing the Iowa-bound roadway overnight Thursday in order to fully open the bridge prior to peak morning traffic on Friday, Nov. 13.
"Please continue to drive with caution through the construction zone."
Maps of the various roadway and ramp configurations in Moline and Bettendorf are available at i74riverbridge.com.
Here is what you need to know, according to Iowa DOT:
Going to Iowa
In Moline, motorists going to Iowa will be able to access Iowa-bound I-74 at Avenue of the Cities, 6th Avenue and River Drive.
No more U-turn! Motorists going to Iowa will be able to continue onto the new river bridge. At this time, the river bridge will allow three lanes of Iowa-bound traffic.
After crossing the river bridge to Iowa, motorists can exit at Grant Street/U.S. 67 in Bettendorf or continue to Middle Road and Davenport.
New ramp locations in Moline
At River Drive, a new on-ramp will open to provide more direct access to the river bridge.
The on-ramp at 7th Avenue also has moved. Motorists will be able to access Iowa-bound I-74 via the new ramp located at 6th Avenue. A new connecting road will allow motorists on westbound 7th Avenue to access the 6th Avenue on-ramp.
The speed limit on Iowa-bound I-74 will be 55 mph. The interstate will still be considered a construction zone, so motorists should continue to drive with caution.
Going to Illinois
The plan is to put two-way, head-to-head traffic on the new Iowa-bound bridge, but not just yet.
Illinois-bound traffic will continue to use the old bridge and the existing detour route to 7th Avenue and 19th Street.
Motorists can continue to access Illinois-bound I-74 via the existing ramps in Bettendorf.
Illinois-bound traffic is anticipated to shift to the new bridge in a two-way configuration this winter.
The traffic changes are weather dependent, and updates will be provided as we get closer to opening day.