As Interstate-74 bridge construction nears the home stretch, major progress should become increasingly visible this month.
Final girders are being set on the new eastbound (Illinois-bound) span near the riverfront in Bettendorf this week, and concrete barriers are being poured on the new roadway in Moline. Lane striping is not far behind.
Meanwhile, the sections of driving deck that fit between the arch are to be placed later this month.
And, despite a snag related to cost, the bike and pedestrian path on the downstream side of the Illinois-bound bridge is to open as scheduled.
Bridge planners realized last year that some components that go into the elevator cars on Bettendorf's $2.2 million let-down structure from the bridge/bike path do not comply with the project's Buy America agreement.
Replacing some of the Canadian-made components with custom-made American parts would roughly double the cost. If a waiver from the agreement is not approved, Bettendorf is likely to wait out the completion of the project and expiration of the agreement and add the elevator later.
But that will not affect the opening of the bike path in conjunction with the opening of the second span.
"The bike path floor modules adjacent to the arch will be placed after the arch floor modules," said George Ryan, I-74 corridor manager, Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. "The roadway and bike path are both scheduled to be completed by the end of this year."
The bike path will be 14 feet wide and will be separate from traffic. Fully ADA accessible, the path will have a scenic overlook with a see-through feature in the floor.
Lighting already is in place on the westbound span and now is being added to the new Illinois-bound bridge.
The primary contractor on the bridge, Lunda Construction, has been in arbitration with both the concrete supplier and the steel supplier for Interstate 74. Lunda was sued by Hahn Ready Mix Co. and Industrial Steel Construction, or ISC.
Court records show that Lunda and Hahn were ordered into arbitration and recently reached a partial resolution.
In the ISC lawsuit, Lunda was accused of breach of contract, and the steel maker was claiming more than $12.5 million was owed.
Filed in federal court, records show Lunda filed a counter suit and was awarded more than $240,000 last month as a result of arbitration.