Saturday - May 18, 2024
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the second longest river in the United States, with a length of 2,340 miles (3,770 km) from its source in Lake Itasca in Minnesota to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. The longest river in the United States is a Mississippi tributary, the Missouri River, measuring 2,540 miles (4,090 km).

The Mississippi River is part of the Jefferson-Missouri-Mississippi river system, which is the largest river system in North America and among the largest in the world: by length (3,900 miles (6,300 km)), it is the fourth longest, and by its average discharge of 572,000 cu ft/s (16,200 m³/s), it is the tenth largest river.

The name Mississippi is derived from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi (“Great River”) or gichi-ziibi (“Big River”) at its headwaters.


The Quad Cities is the only bend where the Mississippi River flows East to West instead of North to South.

Bridge Crossings

Government Bridge Between Davenport and the Rock Island Arsenal

  • Interstate 80 Bridge
  • Interstate 74 Bridge connecting Moline, Illinois, to Bettendorf, Iowa, is a twin suspension bridge, also known historically as the Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge.
  • Rock Island Government Bridge connecting Rock Island, Illinois, to Davenport, Iowa. Located just southwest of the site of the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River, it is one of only two bridges in the world with two sets of railroad tracks above the auto lanes. It is co-located with Lock and Dam #15, the largest roller dam in the world.
  • Rock Island Centennial Bridge connecting Rock Island, Illinois, to Davenport, Iowa.
  • Interstate 280 bridge

Channel Cat Water Taxi

Water Taxi

The Channel Cat Water Taxi is an alternate means of crossing the Mississippi River, instead of to driving across one of our five bridges.

Mississippi River

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