Iowa's Department of Transportation will ask for $46 million in funding for construction of an Interstate 74 bridge in a new five-year spending plan.
The funding would represent a step forward for the complicated project to replace the aging bridge over the Mississippi River between Moline and Bettendorf.
The state's transportation committee will be asked to approve the funding in June, according to Jon Ranney, director of the Iowa DOT's Office of Program Management.
If approved, the funding would be spent in 2018 and would be used for construction of the center portion of the new bridge, he said.
Another $130 million in funding for the project is likely to be recommended for 2019 in a subsequent five-year transportation plan, Mr. Ranney said.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn included $175 million for the I-74 bridge project in the 2014-2019 highway construction plan released last week.
Local officials have been pushing for funding to replace the span for years.The total cost of the project is expected to more than $1 billion and could take five years to complete.
Illinois and Iowa will share costs on the project and local officials are also hopeful the federal government will contribute.
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, has committed to using her seat on the Highways and Transit Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to advocate for funding for the bridge.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2013. There are 20 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: The message of Abraham Lincoln, read in congress yesterday, is published in full in our paper today, with a new proclamation relating the terms upon which states can return to the union. 1888 — 125 years ago: An appropriation has been made by congress for the improvement of the upper Mississippi River with $200,000 set aside for the portion of the river between Keokuk and the mouth of the Illinois River. 1913 — 100 years ago: Work of remodeling First Swedish Lutheran Church at 4th Avenue and 14th Street was nearly completed. 1938 — 75 years ago: An unexplained outbreak of tularemia (rabbit fever) in the state has Illinois public health officials puzzled. Ten persons have died, and 243 are officially reported ill with the infection. 1963 — 50 years ago: A dramatic, multi-million dollar riverfront improvement project for the downtown area of Rock Island was unveiled at a meeting of 200 civic leaders at noon today. 1988 — 25 years ago: For several supporters of the Dispatch Goodfellow/Argus Santa program their donation is a year long project. Emma Pugh and Anne Persinger spent a good part of their spare time this year knitting forty pairs of mittens and slippers.