Interstate highways in Iowa
29
35
74
80
129
235
280
380
480
680
For an explanation of the route listings, click here.

Interstate 74
Length in Iowa: 5½ miles/9 kilometers
Northern terminus: I-80 (exit #298) in Davenport
Southern terminus: Illinois state line (Mississippi River) at Bettendorf with US 6
Terminus photos

Counties: Scott
Cities along route: Davenport, Bettendorf

Exit lists: Entire route in Iowa (on Freeway Junctions of the Heartland)
Multiplexes: 2½ miles with US 6, from exit #2 at the Davenport/Bettendorf border into Illinois; they stay together for another 5 miles through Moline before splitting at the interchange with I-280.
History
  • 1968: Opened between I-80 and US 6 (exit #2) in Davenport
  • 1973: Segment between exit #2 and US 67 (exit #4) in Bettendorf completed
  • 1974: Access from exit #4 to the existing Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge into Illinois completed; US 6 was then routed onto I-74 from its previous route along East Kimberly Road in Bettendorf.
  • Notes
  • I-74 runs north-south in Iowa despite being marked as an east-west route.
  • The exit signs along I-80 (at exit #298) list Peoria as the destination for I-74, with Bettendorf and Moline as secondary destinations. Never mind that, if heading eastbound, I-80 and I-74 meet again in Illinois -- and you can keep driving straight if you're actually heading toward Peoria and points to the east. The segment through Iowa is more suitable for local traffic.
  • Confused? Well, Illinois tried to remedy this problem around 1991 by proposing a re-routing of I-74 through the Quad Cities. I-74 would have follow the current I-80 from the cloverleaf junction in Colona (known as the "Big X") to the exit with I-280 in Davenport. I-80 would have replaced the current I-280, and the present I-74 would have become I-174. Iowa leaders, concerned that some of the businesses along the present I-80 would lose money if I-80 was re-routed, balked at the idea. In July of 1993, the Federal Highway Administration intervened and rejected Illinois' proposed Interstate renumbering. Now Illinois is currently re-constructing the "Big X" by replacing some of the ramps with new high-speed and flyover ramps so you won't have to slow down if you are "staying" on I-80 or I-74. Kurumi's I-280 page has more information on the renumbering controversy.
  • The Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge (now known by locals as simply the "I-74 bridge") actually predates I-74 itself; it was first built as a single span for US 6 in 1935, while the second span dates back from 1960. Tolls were collected here until 1970, and I-74 was connected onto this bridge (which does not meet modern Interstate standards due to its lack of shoulders and 50-mph speed limit) in 1974. A live shot of the I-74 bridge, from atop the Le Claire Hotel in Moline, IL, can be seen here.

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    © 1998-2002 by Jason Hancock / Last updated June 29, 2002