It's official, the new I-74 bridge has a finishing and opening date. Soon, the brand new I-74 River Ridge that connects crosses the Mississippi River connects Iowa and Illinois, Bettendorf and Moline, will be used to its full capacity.

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On Monday, officials from the Iowa and Illinois Departments of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and Quad Cities communities gave residents of the Quad Cities some much deserved and needed news. The new I-74 River Bridge is anticipated to open to traffic in early December.

The public is invited to a celebration of the iconic new structure any time between 1-4 p.m. on December 1, where attendees can take their first steps on the bridge before it opens to traffic.

There will only be access from Moline. Free parking and a limited shuttle service will be available from the TaxSlayer Center (1201 River Dr., Moline). MetroLINK is providing shuttle transport between TaxSlayer and the I-74 River Bridge beginning at 12:30 p.m. Officials say that those attending should be prepared for the weather, as well as a roughly 15-minute walk from the shuttle drop off to the seating area. Pedestrian entry for the event is at the River Drive ramp to the bridge in Moline.

Construction on the new I-74 River Bridge began when the ground was broken in July of 2017. Since then, we've seen the massive bridge rise out of the waters of the Mississippi River, eclipsing and towering the old I-74 bridge.

Officials said on Monday that the new bridge will connect Iowa and Illinois with an iconic arch structure welcoming residents, visitors, and new opportunities to the Quad Cities. Handcrafted with the help of Quad Cities trades and businesses, the new structure will be more than twice as wide as the old bridge, providing four lanes in each direction, as well as an exciting new bicycle and pedestrian path.

You can register to attend the opening of the new I-74 River Bridge on Wednesday, December 1, from 1-4 p.m. by clicking this link: https://i74riverbridge.com/bridge_celebration/

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