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The I-80 Mississippi River Bridge was built in 1967 and is one of three major interstate bridges connecting Illinois and Iowa in the Quad Cities. The bridge has required significant repairs and rehabilitation in recent years and traffic is increasing with associated increases in vehicular crashes. The aging bridge continues to face costly maintenance expenses, and the existing roadway design does not meet current standards.


Initiated by the Illinois Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Transportation and under the jurisdiction of the Federal Highway Administration, the I-80 Mississippi River Bridge Study is an early stage transportation study. The study will coordinate with stakeholders to identify existing and future transportation problems and needs in the study area, with the project’s purpose and need used to develop proposed transportation improvements, or "alternatives".

In April 2020, the state departments of transportation conducted a live interactive online public meeting to launch a Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) study of the I-80 bridge and corridor. In the time since, the project team has developed and evaluated potential alternatives.


A PEL is a collaborative approach to transportation decision-making. It brings together experts, community members, and organizations to consider potential improvements to the area’s transportation network, and what the resulting impacts would be. A PEL results in an early decision-making process between local, state and federal transportation agencies that smoothly advances and transitions a project from its early planning phase to the more detailed environmental review phase (also known as the National Environmental Policy Act phase). The project's Purpose and Need and the Alternatives to be Carried Forward for detailed evaluation was determined during the PEL Study. The Preferred Alternative will be identified in the NEPA phase.


The PEL study was completed in late 2022, moving the project into NEPA Phase I: Preliminary Engineering & Environmental Studies. Phase I is expected to conclude in mid-2024, advancing the project to Phase II: Final Design & Contract Preparation.

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