Quad City residents react to demolition of old I-74 bridge

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 1:12 AM CDT
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - Demolition has begun on the old I-74 bridge over the Mississippi River and officials announced new details about the process on Tuesday.

Quad City residents will now have a little bit longer to look at the suspension bridge, but some residents are a little disappointed that they won’t get to see it go out with a bang.

“I kinda would’ve liked to seen it blown up,” cyclist Mary Scott said. “I kinda also understand the environmental impact, so I’m fine with what they’re doing.”

The I-74 bridge project announced the old bridge will not be imploded.

The Freeport, Illinois-based, Helm Group was awarded the demolition contract back in July.

The contractor will take the bridge apart piece by piece, with some explosives being used on small portions.

Another cyclist, Bryan Hendricks said he doesn’t care to see a big implosion.

“We’ve already seen the Savanah bridge blown up,” Hendricks said. “We’ve already seen the old hospital blown up. How many things do we have to see be blown up in our lives?”

Officials said this method will have less impact on river traffic, reduces debris and will cause less harm to the mussels in the river.

Regardless of how it’s demolished, both cyclists said they have fond memories of the old bridge.

Scott said she looks forward to the new bridge’s amenities.

“It was an attractive bridge, but the new bridge is nice too,” Scott said. “I love love the bike bath.”

For Hendricks, the old bridge brings back memories of teenage antics and a late-night stroll across the Mississippi.

“It brings back memories but it was a very sketchy walk across that bridge,” Hendricks said.

Demolition on the old bridge is expected to be completed by mid-2024.