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 Tuesday, Dec. 10, the 344th day of 2013. There are 21 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: We give "the government" the benefit of our circulation free of charge, for two advertisements for mules, horses and forage. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The official board of the First Methodist Church voted to build a new church. 1913 -- 100 years ago: W.A. Reid was elected commander of Siboney Bay Camp No. 8, United Spanish War Veterans. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Mrs. Blanche S. Osborne, of Rock Island, is the only woman in the city who is a member of the American Legion. 1963 -- 50 years ago: The Rocket Barbershop Chorus, under the direction of Howard Mesecher, will present a concert of barbershop songs at the December meeting of the Woman's Club of Moline at 2 Saturday afternoon in Scottish Rite Cathedral. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Helen A. Stone, of Moline, traded her organ's bench for a seat in the pew when she retired as church organist of Union Congregational Church, Moline, recently. She's been playing either piano or organ for the church for 61 years.