Build New and Revamp I-74Wednesday July 23, @08:32AM, by Ferenc (Frank) Beiwel
Subject : Bridge Issues
This was the title given by the QC Times Editor to the following letter published on 7/12/03. The letter was submitted in response to a QC Times editorial (7/5/03) wich invited its readers to "Send us your dreams for a new I-74 bridge."
FEEDBACK and comments on QC Times Editorial (7/5/03) about the I-74 Bridge
The "signature bridge" resolution by River Action Inc. is great and it does not seem to preclude retaining the current bridges. Accordingly, of the four different design approaches offered by the QC Times (7/5/03) Editorial, the second makes best sense: "Accommodate design elements of the current bridge, but with modern updates." I would have liked to see this wording instead: "Update the current bridges and build another bridge upstream."
Does replacing the current bridge mean wasting our sweat equity we are currently investing in improvements? Also, imagine the future traffic dislocations when replacing the bridges. It could be the mother of traffic tie-ups compared to now.
As Davenport took the bull by the horns in the '30s, so should someone do again if the Bi-State Regional Commission cannot find a funding source for an upstream bridge. Struggling with the piling-up deficit, it's only a matter of time before Congress will ask - could this be done with less? - what makes sense? – why not a gradual approach? - is this bridge really carrying inter-state and not inter-city traffic?
Think of the potentials of an upstream bridge: it could solve the horrific traffic problems at the Belmont Road campus of the SCCC, help Western Illinois University develop their new Moline riverfront campus, short-circuit the Alcoa – E Moline traffic, etc. Besides, there are trends that will alleviate reliance on the I-74 crossing: the new Wal-Mart and other developments in W Davenport, rumors of a new cinema complex, etc. Finally, the new bridge would alleviate exposure (eggs in one basket, i.e. three bridges vs. one) to natural disaster, catastrophic design flaws and sabotage.
Ferenc (Frank) Beiwel