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Old I-74 Bridge prepares for 'piece by piece' demolition

The old I-74 suspension bridge is slated to be fully removed by mid-2024. Initially planned as an implosion, it will now be dismantled piece by piece.

MOLINE, Ill. — The old I-74 suspension bridge is officially slated to be removed from its current home adjacent to the newly built I-74 twin bridges.

According to the official I-74 Facebook page, the majority of bridge will be dismantled piece by piece. After initial proposed plans of implosion, explosives will now only be used on select locations of the bridge. 

Those explosives may be used on portions of the bridge such as the cables and towers, according to George Ryan, I-74 corridor manager.

Dismantling the bridge piece by piece lessens the impact on nearby bridge traffic, minimizes the possibility of debris entering the river and reduces any impact that may affect endangered mussels.

Demolition has already begun and is expected to be completed in mid-2024.

 "Demolition began this month on the river bridges, with most of the recent work involving tasks like mobilizing equipment and removing old electrical lines. The contractor is anticipated to start some deck removal this week," Ryan said via e-mail to News 8.

In June, workers from QC Crane removed the final Illinois land span of the 86-year-old bridge. 

All I-74 Bridge traffic was officially redirected from the old bridge to the new one in December of last year. 

Based out of Freeport, Ill, The Helm Group was awarded the demolition project. Having previously partnered with the Illinois Department of Transportation on the I-74 bridge project, they also constructed the I-74's viaduct bridges in downtown Bettendorf.

More information can be found on The I-74 Bridge website.

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