Work has been progressing since Roads & Bridges’ visit to the I-74 Bridge project in the Quad Cities early this year, and now it looks as though one unique aspect of the project is beginning to come together.
This past week, just after the holidays, the bridge’s Twitter account posted a photo rendering of a planned tinted-glass, eight-story-tall elevator that will sit against the west side of the bridge on the newly landscaped Bettendorf, Iowa, riverfront. The structure will provide pedestrians and bicyclists easy access to the 14-ft-wide concrete trail on the Illinois-bound side of the bridge.
The city of Bettendorf is funding this portion of the project, according to Danielle Alvarez, I-74 bridge project manager for the Iowa Department of Transportation.
The recreational trail, which will be separated by vehicular traffic on the bridge by a 6-ft-high concrete and steel barrier and a 12-ft-wide shoulder off the main lanes, will reflect the downward slope of the vehicle off-ramps, down to ground level on both ends of the bridge and come to an end at River Drive in Moline and at U.S. 67 in Bettendorf.
“This is something that connects the trail system in both downtown areas,” Alvarez said. “This is an important aspect for the multi-modal structure, to connect both downtown communities.”
The multi-use path also will have a glass bottom at the center of the bridge for people to watch the water.
The full rendering is available at i74riverbridge.com, as is a downtown “flyover” video created in early 2018, which shows the finished development.