Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) and Rep. Phil Hare (D-Illinois) today urged House Transportation Committee leaders to include a "mega project" grant fund in the 2009 Highway Bill for infrastructure projects that are too large to receive adequate assistance through most traditional highway grant programs. A mega-project grant fund could help speed the completion of the new I-74 bridge in the Quad Cities by more quickly funding the project.
"Speeding the replacement of the I-74 bridge will have big economic benefits for the Quad Cities region," Braley said. "Not only will the bridge project create construction jobs, it will help boost the local economy and improve highway safety in the long term. During this economic crisis, we should be doing everything we can to expedite this important project."
"The I-74 Bridge remains in desperate need of replacement," Hare said. "Expediting this critical construction project will create jobs in the Quad Cities, boost the local economy, and provide a safe pathway to and from Iowa."
The I-74 bridge across the Mississippi River is rated as "functionally obsolete." The bridge was designed to handle only 50,000 vehicles per day but currently carries nearly 78,000 vehicles per day.