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Old I-74 bridge demolition contractor's plan doesn't include implosion

The demolition contractor, Helm Group, plans on dismantling the bridge rather than imploding it.

MOLINE, Ill. — The idea of the old I-74 bridge being taken down in one big bang may be out the door. I-74 Corridor Director George Ryan said that the demolition contractor, Helm Group, has a different plan. 

"When the plans were put out, it was kind of assumed that the contractor might implode. And there's usually a suggested sequence put in the plans," Ryan said.

The Department of Transportation typically leaves demolition choices to the contractor. Helm Group has decided to dismantle the bridge, rather than implode it. 

Ryan said the dismantling process had more benefits than its counterpart.

"Number one, it won't disturb the river nearly as much, because they won't be dropping pieces into the river. They'll actually be lowering pieces on the barge. It will also probably have less impact on boating traffic on the river, dependent upon time of year that they ended up doing those removals."

The demolition process started back in 2017 and is expected to cost more than $20 million by the end.

However, there are plenty more steps left in the demolition plan.

"They'll work on removing the deck and at the same time, they will submit a plan for removing the steel," Ryan added. "Once they submit that plan, it will go through an approval process. And they're well in the process of putting that plan together to submit it. So it would be approved by the time they get the deck off and then a follow up with the removal of the steel."

According to officials, the demolition process is expected to complete in mid-2024.

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