Big bridge projects don’t come around very often in the Midwest, despite having the Mississippi running through it. They change the landscape distinctively. It has been that way with our I-74 Reconstruction project, and we were excited to add this to milestones in McCarthy’s long community history.
This Interstate Reconstruction project extends from the banks of the Mississippi River north to the Middle Road interchange. This project, of the I-74 River Bridge Corridor, necessitated a lot of coordination. Included were five different prime contractors, two Departments of Transportation, and two local city governments. There were many traffic control changes in the overall project, and the traveling public did a good job navigating the shifts.
The pavement section of the interstate expanded to six through lanes with auxiliary lanes and a center median barrier. Altogether, this project required over 73,000 SY of new pavement and aggregate subbase. It also required another 225,000 CY of dirt to be moved in tight spaces. Around the project, there were two new noise walls, a precast MSE wall, and a temporary soil retaining wall at the centerline of the interstate.
In addition to work that is standard to us, this project had several features that are one of a kind. The DOT installed 9 “Identity Elements” through the project which were 30’-40’ tall precast and steel structures. These identity elements include painted steel panels, acrylic sheets, lighting, and reflective panels. Our McCarthy Improvement work was consistently ahead of schedule and we completed all critical closure and call completion date requirements on time. This project was a one-of-a-kind experience and a truly important project for our area. We are proud to be able to leave a lasting impact on our community and home. This project was a runner-up for the Iowa DOT Interstate Project of the year in 2023.