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Countdown to opening day: Drivers await new I-74 Bridge

The public can walk across the new I-74 Bridge after an opening ceremony on Wednesday.

MOLINE, Ill. — The Quad Cities will experience history on Wednesday, Dec. 1 when the public can walk across the new I-74 Bridge.

"Looking forward to it, it's definitely going to help with the flow of traffic," driver Noah Somner said. "The on-ramps and off-ramps opening up will help things move a lot smoother as well."

An opening ceremony will take place from 1-4 p.m. Dec. 1. Days after, the bridge will open to drivers in both directions, allowing more than 100,000 vehicles every day. The official opening to drivers has not been announced yet.

"It's nice when there isn't any blockages or anything stopping traffic, making only one lane because then it's kind of hard to get across," driver Anthony Sanders said.

The bridge project cost nearly $1 billion, and the new bridge came in two and a half times bigger than the old one.

The old bridge will be closed the same day the new I-74 bridge fully opens. Demolition of the old bridge is expected to take place mid-2022.