FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2017
IA DOT: Mary Kay Solberg
IL DOT: Rebecca Marruffo (815) 284-5351
I-74 River Bridge Mussel Relocation Effort Wins Environmental Excellence Award
Quad Cities – The Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other project contributors are recipients of the Federal Highway Administration’s 2017 Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Research. The award recognizes the work that went into relocating several species of mussels prior to the start of the Interstate 74 Mississippi River Bridge project.
Approximately 1.2 million mussels occupied the bridge footprint between Bettendorf and Moline, including several endangered species. As part of the reconstruction of the bridge, the departments of transportation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collaborated over a three–year period to assess impacts to the threatened and endangered mussels, document the potential impacts, develop a conservation plan for affected mussel species, and safely relocate one of the largest population of mussels in the country. This extensive relocation effort was completed within a tight time frame of only three months last year. Data from this study will allow interested agencies to track impacts of the bridge project and support future mussel conservation efforts.
Mussels are an important part of the Mississippi River ecosystem because they help to improve water quality. Iowa and Illinois have made it a priority to mitigate impacts on the environment while also providing the Quad Cities a safer and more efficient travel experience.
For updates on the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge project and to get the most up-to-date construction news, visit the project website at I74RiverBridge.com. Follow the project on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube @I74RiverBridge.