AMES, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) has a handful of major highway projects underway in 2020.
DOT Work Zone Engineer Clayton Burke says the biggest of them is a complete rebuild of the I-74 bridge over the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities in eastern Iowa.
"I've seen some of the pictures of how enormous some of the foundations for the piers for that bridge are, and the difficult measures that the contractor has go through to build those," said Burke. "And it's been a really amazing project to watch."
The total cost of the I-74 bridge rebuild is $2 billion between Iowa and Illinois. The Iowa portion is $1.2 billion. When finished, it'll have four traffic lanes in each direction along with separate space for pedestrians and bicycles. It's scheduled for completion in 2021, although it's been delayed by design problems dealing with the bridge's arch.
The I-74 bridge was originally built in 1935 as two suspension spans.
The second biggest highway project is includes the rebuilding of interchanges and bridges along I-29 and I-80 in the Council Bluffs area, with an estimated cost of $2 billion
The third largest road project in the state is the complete rebuild of the I-80/I-380 interchange in Iowa City, with a total cost of $385 million.
There are also three major highway projects that are ongoing in the Des Moines metro area, led by the the Urban Loop flyover bridge on I-80/35 to Iowa 140. It's an $85 million undertaking that's scheduled to be complete and open in November.
The other two ongoing metro highway projects are the I-80/35 bridge over the Des Moines river and the I-35 interchange with East First Street in Ankeney.
Burke says drivers will be warned about any delays on any of the projects. "Advance notice will be given through media releases," Burke said. "And if you keep an eye on those electronic message signs, you'll see that the DOT will advertise any traffic changes on those signs."