A new I-74 bridge has been a dream for decades. I’ve been hearing about the “new bridge” since I took my first steps. But all great engineering and design takes time and now construction has begun. With the years of expectation, it’s no wonder everyone wants more of a peek then the quick sneak preview you can take when driving across the current bridge.
What will it look like? What will it feel like when you’re on it? What is going to replace the bridge that is a integral part of the Quad Cities? So many questions that only have a true answer with the cutting-edge technology the last decade has brought us — and has created a virtual experience for us all to answer those questions about our new bridge.
The I-74 Mississippi River Bridge Virtual Reality Experience is now at the Rock Island Arsenal Museum. The VR experience was created by the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) alongside the Institute of Transportation at Iowa State University and the VR center. It’s been traveling around to different locations in the Quad Cities. The exhibition doesn’t just stop with being able to view the bridge, but includes several different angles such as a view underwater, a view from the top of the new bridge, a view from the former bridge, a view while driving, and a view flying above it all. You are also privileged to see the four lane addition and pedestrian walkways.
The exhibit will remain at the Rock Island Arsenal Museum until June 1st and is a must see! While the bridge is becoming more noticeable each day with the hard work of engineering, architectural, transportation and construction companies around Iowa and Illinois, the VR exhibit allows you to experience what it will be like when the bridge is fully built (and includes things that you can’t do in real life, such as the underwater angle!).
The Rock Island Arsenal Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12-4PM. Please remember that the Arsenal is an active military base. Per instructions, “All visitors must enter through the Moline (Illinois) gate. Visitors who do not have an approved Department of Defense identification card and are 18 years old or older must obtain a visitor pass at the Moline Gate Visitor Center.” Please bring a U.S. photo ID if you are 16+ years old.