River cleanup champion Chad Pregracke and a newly formed foundation unveiled conceptual plans tonight (March 18) for repurposing the Interstate 80 bridge over the Mississippi River into a wildlife crossing and pedestrian parkway called Bison Bridge.
Pregracke, President & Founder of Living Lands & Waters, joined fellow members of the Bison Bridge Foundation in announcing the grassroots effort and professional concept for the existing Fred Schwengel Memorial Bridge. Halfway between Chicago and Des Moines, it connects Illinois and Iowa in the Quad-Cities, the largest metropolitan area along the Mississippi River corridor between Minneapolis and St. Louis.
The project’s reveal comes as the Illinois Department of Transportation (I-DOT) is studying the future of the 55-year-old infrastructure and preparing to make decisions about the location and design of a new I-80 replacement bridge. With support from the Federal Highways Administration and the Iowa Department of Transportation, I-DOT is responsible for the study, design and construction of a new I-80 crossing.