Construction of Metrolink's new $34 million transit maintenance facility in Rock Island is progressing on schedule and is expected to open early next year.
A major stage of the construction project was completed Wednesday when one of the five 80,000-pound steel trusses was erected over what will become the maintenance area of the building.
The new Metrolink site is at 4501 4th Ave., Rock Island, and when complete will give the public transit system a larger and more efficient facility.
Metrolink's Jennifer Garrity said $28.6 million of the $30 million allocated for construction of the complex has been contracted to local contractors and suppliers. When construction work picks up in the summer, around 200 workers will be employed at the site.
A 300-ton crane has been brought to the site in addition to an existing 40-ton crane to lift and set five 130-foot-long trusses over the maintenance area.
Bush Construction, Davenport, is the prime contractor for the project, while the Weitz Company of Des Moines, will act as construction manager.Bush has agreements with more than 30 subcontractors for the project.
A news conference was held Wednesday to allow local media to watch the truss being erected.
Rock Island Ald. Joy Murphy, 6th Ward, said the new MetroLINK complex could act a a catalyst to spur further development in the east end of the city.
Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river. 1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.