MOLINE, Ill. — After more than two decades of work, the new Interstate 74 bridge is almost ready for vehicle traffic.
After a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday morning, hundreds, if not more than a thousand people, lined up to walk on the Illinois-bound bridge span for the first time.
For years, the group has waited to see this historic project be complete.
"It's pretty incredible. It's history," said Robert Trevor.
Trevor is one of the people who has been working on the project since construction began four years ago.
"I personally worked on the stem and caps, and the arch deck and a lot of the actual bridge deck," Trevor said.
Trevor is among thousands of others walking on history.
"It's surreal," Trevor said. "I mean yeah it's been talked about for a long time but to finally have it done and have everyone come together as a team and make it happen is pretty neat."
Right by his side as Trevor walks up the ramp to the center of the bridge is his mother, Kitty Trevor.
"I mean I never dreamed I would stand here because I'm scared of bridges, so yeah it's pretty awesome," Kitty said.
Dan Cunningham worked on the project, too.
"It's still pretty neat that all the people are here," Dan said.
He could not wait to show the finished product to his wife, Brenda.
"We'll be able to tell the great-grand kids one of these days about it and every time we drive across we'll be thinking about the fact that he helped build it," Brenda said.
It is a moment these four life-long Quad Cities residents had anxiously awaited.
"It's beautiful. It's an absolute marvel," Kitty said.
"I grew up using that old bridge and being able to be a part of building the one that's going to replace its really neat," Robert added.
The wait for this group is over.
"I'm very happy that it's here," Brenda said.
There is still some work to be done. Project leaders say there is still some work left on the bike path. Then, there is some work to do under the bridge, but that should not affect traffic once the bridge opens, according to Dan Cunningham.
Project leaders have not announced exactly when the new bridge span will open, but did say it should be within the coming days.