Congressmen Bobby Schilling (IL-17) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) today called on the Members in the House and Senate who are negotiating a comprehensive Highway Bill to prioritize funding for large interstate bridge projects, such as the I-74 Bridge. Projects like the I-74 Bridge have a national significance and need dedicated federal support to move forward. Loebsack and Schilling have worked in a bipartisan fashion on numerous previous efforts to stress the importance of the project for local economic growth.
"Large Interstate bridge projects may be some of the most effective investments since they not only put a variety of people and skill-sets to work, but have broad public and private use and economic benefit for the long-term when completed," wrote the Congressmen. "The much-needed replacement of the I-74 Bridge would not only create construction jobs, reduce traffic backups and aid commerce in traveling to and from our communities, but would -- most importantly -- improve safety for Americans traveling between Iowa and Illinois. These projects are truly an investment in America's and each of our local communities' economies both today and for the future."
In 2005, the I-74 Bridge became the most traveled bridge in the Quad Cities with an average of 77,800 vehicles crossing daily. This is despite the fact that it was built for 48,000 such crossings. The Bridge itself is functionally obsolete, however, and has never met Interstate standards. The I-74 Bridge project would also spur economic growth, create construction jobs, reduce traffic backups, and improve air quality.