The bi-state planning area is joined by five bridges over the Mississippi River, three interstate and two local. Historically, the Quad Cities had the first Mississippi River bridge crossing in the United States. In addition to the Mississippi River crossings, there are six Rock River crossings and another in the final design stage. The existing Rock River bridges include three federal, one state, and one local crossings. All of these bridges provide important connections throughout the Quad Cities for travel and commerce. The Mississippi River bridges range from 40 to 117 years in age.

Quad City Mississippi River Bridges (Iowa / Illinois)
Bridge Location
Date Bridge Opened
Design Type
U.S. 67 Centennial Bridge
Mississippi River (Iowa / Illinois)
5 Tied Steel Arches, 4 Lanes
Mississippi River (Iowa / Illinois)
Steel Suspension, 4 Lanes
Mississippi River (Iowa / Illinois)
Steel Girder, 4 Lanes
Mississippi River (Iowa / Illinois)
Steel Thru-Arch, 4 Lanes
Government Bridge
Mississippi River (Arsenal)
Swing Span, 2 Lanes
*Illinois or Iowa DOT, 2011 Average Daily Traffic (ADT) for 24-hour period, except the Government Bridge by Rock Island Arsenal 2012.
**Iowa DOT, 2010 Average Daily Traffic (ADT) for 24-hour period.

The highest average daily traffic (ADT) count in the entire planning area, and one of the highest in the State of Iowa, is 77,000 ADT (2000) on the I-74 bridge over the Mississippi River. The count in 2011 was 60,700 vehicles per day. The three centrally located bridge crossings on this river are by far the most congested road segments in the Quad Cities, particularly under maintenance and rehabilitation conditions or as a result of an incident on or near the bridges.

Maintenance responsibilities continue to restrict the number of available lanes at the river crossings. The Illinois and Iowa DOTs funded a study regarding Mississippi River crossing needs in the Quad City area. The study began in FY 1996 with an origin and destination analysis. It was completed with an alternatives/location analysis in Stage II of the study. During the second stage of the study, a Major Investment Study (MIS) was also conducted. The States of Illinois and Iowa each funded 50 percent of the study which was finalized in 1998. The Study Management Group, which guided the study, known as the Mississippi River Crossings Plan, recommended that tolls be removed from the Centennial Bridge, capacity be improved on the I-74 corridor, and a new bridge be built between East Moline and Bettendorf.

After the Mississippi River Crossings Plan was adopted in November 1998 and approved by the State DOTs the following January, a 16 member Task Force was appointed by the Transportation Policy Committee (TPC) to develop and recommend an implementation strategy. Ten meetings of the Task Force were held, including a joint meeting with the TPC where their recommendation was presented.

Access improvements to the Centennial Bridge were developed in conjunction with jurisdictional transfer agreements and toll removal scheduling. The Cities of Davenport and Rock Island and the Illinois and Iowa Departments of Transportation worked collaboratively on this effort. These improvements are in progress and will be completed in June 2004. The Project Steering Committee for the I-74 capacity improvement study has worked with a consultant to complete a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Local leaders along with the Quad City Legislative Delegation will work over the next several years to include the project in State and Federal transportation programs.

The East Bridge would follow after the I-74 reconstruction. It is critical that initial steps be taken to provide for a corridor location study and a financial mechanism to accomplish design and construction phases of this project. Those steps should include discussion with federal and states legislators on funding for the corridor location study and initial efforts aimed at creating a transportation authority for funding design and construction.