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 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.