The state of Illinois is providing an additional $10 million for road improvements needed for the new Interstate 74 bridge.
The money will be used to cover engineering expenses and construction funding for the south corridor portion of the bridge project, which spans the Mississippi River between Moline and Bettendorf.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., announced the additional funding Thursday in Moline. Both Democrats are up for re-election Tuesday.
“The cost of the south corridor extension is $20 million,” said Becky Marruffo, project engineer with the Illinois Department of Transportation. “The south corridor stretches from Avenue of the Cities south about eight-tenths of a mile. Construction of that portion will begin in 2018, with all construction, including the new bridge, being completed by 2021.”
The new bridge will be six lanes, three in each direction. The cost of the $885 million structure is being shared by Iowa and Illinois, with Illinois committing $421 million through 2021.
Illinois has invested about $50 million on Phases I and II engineering, as well as land acquisition for the project.
The new bridge will accommodate motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.
Construction of the new bridge will provide about 5,000 construction jobs through 2020, Quinn said.
Bustos said that investing in the region's roads, bridges and other infrastructure will create good-paying jobs in the short-run. She added that a strong infrastructure nationwide is “key to U.S. competitiveness world-wide.”
The present I-74 bridge consists of two separate structures. The northbound bridge, Illinois to Iowa, was completed and opened in 1935, while the southbound bridge, Iowa to Illinois, was completed in 1959 and opened in 1960.