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 Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet. 1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.