A $10 million paint job of the Interstate 74 Mississippi River bridge is about 30 days behind schedule, officials said Thursday.
Iowa Department of Transportation construction engineer Mark Brandl said the project is supposed to be completed this year. "Whether or not that will happen is up to the contractor's progress," he said.
Mr. Brandl said Tarpon Industrial Inc., of Tarpon Springs, Fla., is about 30 days behind schedule, according to a consultant inspector monitoring the project. He said the Iowa DOT is trying to find the reason for the delay, adding Tarpon could face penalties if it fails to meet the schedule.
Tarpon representatives didn't return a phone call seeking comment.
The painting is designed to address rust and corrosion problems on the bridge. Mr. Brandl said Tarpon is not painting the bridge's main towers but will paint the main cable on the suspension span.
Iowa and Illinois are splitting the $10 million-plus painting tab. A similar project cost $5.4 million in 1997. Mr. Brandl said the bridge is on a 10- to 15-year repainting cycle.
"We're hoping we get a new bridge before we have to paint it again," Mr. Brandl said.
The total cost of replacing the bridge is estimated at more than $1 billion. The westbound half of the bridge was built in 1935 and the eastbound in 1960. Both sides were reconstructed in 1975.
Today is Wednesday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2014. There are 105 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: We are told league merchants have paid no attention to the prohibition on selling ammunition, but continue to sell just as before the order was issued. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. R.F. Sweet, rector of Trinity Episcopal Parish, left for the East to visit his boyhood home in Boston before attending the general convention of the Episcopal Church in New York. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Dr. E.A. Anderson was named to succeed Dr. E.L. Kerns as head physician of the Modern Woodmen of America, and moved to Rock Island from Holdingford, Minn. 1939 -- 75 years ago: One week late, because of the outbreak of war, Dr. E.L. Beyer resumed his work as professor of romance languages at Augustana College. Dr. and Mrs. Beyer left Germany on the last train to the Belgian border. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Employees in Turnstyle stores in Moline and Davenport will vote Oct. 2 in an election set up by the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. Employees will vote either for the Retail Clerk International or for no union. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Rock Island High School is considering a step to help teen moms stay in school and get their diploma. The school board is expected to vote tonight on instituting an on-site child care center.