Video shows parts of old I-74 bridge over Mississippi River removed with explosives

The Iowa Department of Transportation removed parts of the old I-74 bridge Sunday, which connects Iowa and Illinois over the Mississippi River, a process officials hope to complete by 2024.

Certain areas were temporarily closed, including the main navigation channel in the river, which will be shut for up to 24 hours after demolition contractor, Helm Group, used controlled explosives to remove the suspension cables and towers on the bridge.

“Areas outside the main navigation channel will be closed for up to 72 hours,” the Iowa and Illinois DOT said in a joint news release on June 5.

The I-74 bridge spans over the Mississippi River between Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline, Illinois.

I-74 bridge demolition, explosion video

When will the demolition of the old bridge be completed?

The old bridge is set to be completely removed by 2024, the two DOTs said.

“The I-74 bridge traffic is overcapacity, leading to long delays and frequent need for repairs,” the DOTs said.  The new bridge was needed to “accommodate current and future traffic volumes.”

How old is the bridge?

The westbound bridge, Illinois to Iowa, opened in 1935. The eastbound bridge, Iowa to Illinois, opened in 1960.

The bridge "has provided an important east-west link in the nation's transportation network," the DOTs said.

How much did the I-74 bridge cost?

The new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge at the Quad Cities opened Friday morning, at least in part.
The new I-74 Mississippi River Bridge at the Quad Cities opened Friday morning, at least in part.

Construction crews started the new project in July 2017. The Iowa-bound bridge opened in November 2020, and the Illinois-bound bridge in December 2021.

The project cost about $1 billion in total, including engineering, design and construction costs.

How big is the new I-74 bridge?

The new project reconstructed 5.5 miles of I-74, including "new river bridges over the Mississippi River to replace the old suspension bridges,” the DOTs said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Old I-74 bridge demolition: Video shows controlled explosion