Project Schedule and Costs

Sept. & Oct. 2023

MOBILIZATION! You should see lots of big equipment and loads of materials show up at the construction site as the contractor construction crews move in.

2024 & 2025

After the construction crews settle in, you should see the new bridge gradually rise out of the water as each piece is finished from deep below the muddy Mississippi riverbed to the tall peaks of the new steel truss. Local streets such as Front Street, Henry Street, and Hale Street could be closed for an extended period of time while the section of the new bridge over the railroad and Front Street is constructed.

The current bridge is expected to remain open during this period.


It may seem strange, but you might see most of the new bridge finished and then sit there for a while with little activity. It’s just waiting for the new connections on each side to be built.

The roads next to the bridge and the new connections are designed to be constructed in pieces rather than all at once, so everyone (except wide or long vehicles) can continue to use the crossing.

On the Iowa side you will see part of Iowa Highway 26 reconstructed one side at a time. While the crews are hard at work, there will be traffic signals on each side of the construction project and on the current bridge to allow one direction of traffic to go through at a time. When enough of the new roadways and connections are complete, the traffic control and signals will be rearranged for a single lane of traffic to start using the new bridge as the final piece of the roadway puzzle is slipped into place.

Reconstructing the roadway in pieces will inevitably make a bit of a mess out of the serene scenic river valley we are all used to. While traffic is squeezed down to a single lane, you will see lines of concrete barrier blocks set along the road to keep drivers and workers safe. This is going to be a tight space with only 12 feet between those concrete blocks and the curb as you drive through the single lane road between the traffic signals.

This phase of construction is going to add a couple of extra minutes to your trip, but it is a better option than closing roads for months with long detours. And most importantly, it keeps everyone safer.


After the big squeeze, we should all be able to breath a sigh of relief as we are some of the first to drive across the 40-foot wide deck of the immaculate and pristine new Mississippi River bridge.

As you’re gliding along the new gentle curve of the deck across the river, the contractor will be working on safely taking down the historic bridge that has provided an epic origin story fraught with tragedy, triumph, and mystery; a safe and reliable crossing for all to use; and an innumerable number of memories over the last century.

The contractor will choose how most of the bridge is deconstructed, but it often most economical for the bridge to be imploded with explosives. The center span of the bridge will likely be dropped into the river that it so proudly rose form all those years ago with one final retort echoing through the valley.

After the implosion, the contractor will quickly pull all of the pieces of steel and concrete out of the river, so everyone can continue to use the channel safely. The section of the bridge on the Iowa side will have to be removed piece by piece to protect the railroad and local residents.

When the contractor finishes, there will one section of the bridge left that may be moved to a peaceful cozy pad in the river valley where it can rest and share what it’s like to see the world change over a hundred years as the new bridge stands tall and takes its watch, patiently waiting to see what the next one hundred brings.

Estimated Project Cost

$140 Million Total

  • Federal funding will cover approximately 80 percent of the cost of the bridge.
  • The states of Iowa and Wisconsin will evenly split the remaining costs.


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