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I-74 Mississippi River Bridge

Located in Bettendorf, IA

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A 7.8-mile stretch of Interstate 74 in Bettendorf, IA and Moline, IL underwent significant reconstruction and expansion. The I-74 Mississippi River Bridge aims to increase traffic capacity by expanding the interstate from two lanes to four lanes in each direction. Key aspects of the project included replacing and demolishing an existing bridge, reconstructing six interchanges, and enhancing arterial roadways.

Improving overall transit, bike and pedestrian, as well as intermodal travel established a highly involved project that required effort from several entities. Along with these massive changes came the need for improvements to enhance and visually connect the natural surroundings of the Mississippi River and surrounding cities.

Partnerships for Progress

To bring this vision to life, a collaborative effort involving project management teams, design experts, local stakeholders, and government agencies was essential.

Communication stands at the forefront of this project, with regular interactions and open lines of dialogue among all involved. Stakeholders encompass a wide range of groups, including local governments, the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, Economic Development Groups, the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau and government agencies like the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Coast Guard.

Meeting attendees at project overview PDF snake (includes teen/teenager/child/children/family)

Public Engagement and Information Sharing

Preparing and disseminating informational materials to local communities was crucial for knowledge sharing. Public meetings served as a platform for gathering input and keeping the community informed. By taking on the responsibility to raise public awareness through meetings, project website updates, newsletters and other media outlets, Shive-Hattery kept all parties involved and informed as needed.

Renderings of bridge design provided by Shive-Hattery
Rendering of reflection piers by Shive-Hattery per Iowa DOT standards.
Rendering of overlook design provided by Shive-Hattery
Renderings of scenic overlook on bridge provided by Shive-Hattery

Design and Aesthetics

Refining existing styles to implement the new design of this project required Shive-Hattery to focus attention on many aspects including pedestrian railings, bridge abutments, bridge piers and lighting, fences, barriers, retaining walls, sound walls and color treatments.

While these features seem small on their own, together the character of the entire project is visible through renderings that produced a strong visual interpretation before project construction began:

  • Lighting effects
  • Vehicle and pedestrian bridge views across the river
  • Overpasses from different angles
  • A letdown elevator structure and plaza space
  • Bike and pedestrian paths along the river’s edge
  • Natural spaces
Sketch of I-74 Bridge Landscape Architecture
Rendering of walking path under I-74 River Bridge
Rendering of landscape design feature under I-74 River Bridge
I-74 Landscape Architecture Masterplan Update Open House
Public information meeting for I-74 Landscape Architecture Masterplan

With limits on what landscape features could be included, concepts had to be refined and analyzed. This led to the arrangement of a plant palette to be used throughout the corridor the design of appropriate layouts, details and special provisions; the development of parks and greenspaces under the bridge on both sides of the river; and the extension of the bike trail on the Iowa side.

As this entire project continually required coordination among many, the landscape design was reviewed and refined between the Shive-Hattery team, Iowa DOT, Illinois DOT, Federal Highway Administration and representatives of the railroads. 

Unifying the Quad Cities Corridor

The I-74 Mississippi River bridge design aims to highlight the natural beauty of the Mississippi River and establish a vibrant, iconic identity for the corridor. Shive-Hattery played an important role in establishing designs that will unify the Quad Cities corridor, creating a welcoming environment for the surrounding communities as well as interstate travelers.

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