The I-80 Bridge Over the Mississippi River opened in 1966 and is one of three major interstate bridges in the Quad Cities. After repairs and rehabilitations over the years, the structure is reaching the end of its useful life. Its roadway features are outdated, and traffic congestion is increasing with associated increases in truck and automobile traffic and crashes on the bridge.

Those problems create recurring issues with the bridge condition, which in turn leads to costly expenses for bridge maintenance. The roadway design across the bridge does not meet current standards, and widening is not possible.


Initiated by the Illinois Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Transportation and under the jurisdiction of the Federal Highway Administration,
I-80 Over the Mississippi River 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.  The project’s purpose and need will then be used to develop transportation alternatives.

The study follows the guidelines for the federal Planning and Environmental Linkages process, or PEL for short. 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 National Environmental Policy Act phase. 
In coming months, the project team will continue to identify and evaluate possible alternatives for transportation improvements within the study area based on the project’s purpose and need. Those findings will be Included in a final study report, which is expected in late 2020.

Completion of the report will then allow the project to enter the NEPA phase, which IDOT also refers to as Phase I Planning & Environmental Studies.