3 days left to vote for I-74 bridge as nation’s best

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

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Only three days are left to vote for the new Interstate 74 bridge over the Mississippi River as the top transportation project in the country. Click on the link to vote.

Along with the honour goes $10,000 in prize money that the Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation will award to the Quad City Engineering & Science Council.

The Memorial Bridge project was recognized as a contest finalist for improving safety and mobility, enhancing quality of life, and positioning the Quad Cities for future economic opportunity.

Opened in 2021, the bridge has four lanes in each direction and a bike and pedestrian path with a scenic overlook, connecting residents and visitors alike to hundreds of destinations and events throughout the Quad Cities.

The approximately $1 billion project includes twin river bridges as well as improved interchanges, ramps and local roads.

People’s Choice Awards voting is open until Oct. 21.

“The bridge is currently in third place, but I know we can bring home the win for the Quad Cities and the great states of Iowa and Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “This outstanding project deserves to be recognized for making our communities an even better place to live, work and play.”

The non-profit Quad City Engineering & Science Council has more than 3,000 members and supports students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Prize money would help fund programs including the annual Battle of the Bridges, where students showcase their engineering ingenuity with model bridge building.

“Our members and students have been inspired by the I-74 bridge since the beginning of construction. Over the years, project staff gave presentations and engaged local students on all the interesting engineering and construction aspects of the project,” said Quad City Engineering & Science Council president Beth Ullmark.

“The prize money would go a long way in supporting our many fantastic STEM programs.”

The departments of transportation in Iowa and Illinois are in the running for the People’s Choice honor in the annual America’s Transportation Awards, hosted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“We take great pride in our mission to make lives better through transportation,” said Iowa Department of Transportation Director Scott Marler. “By awarding the prize to local student programs, we hope to inspire future generations of transportation professionals that continue to transform our communities for the better.”

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