The new I-74 River Bridge will have an eight story elevator that will take pedestrians and bicyclists to the multi use trail on the Illinois bound side of the bridge. This according to a story in the Quad City Times.

The City of Bettendorf is paying for the elevator on the Iowa side. Danielle Alvarez, I-74 bridge project manager with the Iowa Department of Transportation, tells the Quad City Times there is no elevator planned for the Illinois side of the bridge.

View from the trail with the elevator on the right. (Iowa Department of Transportation / Illinois Department of Transportation)

So once up on the bridge what can people expect from the trail?  The trail will be separated from traffic by a six foot steel and concrete barrier and a twelve foot shoulder. The trail can accommodate pedestrian traffic going in either direction and at the center of the bridge the multi use path will have a glass bottom so people can look down at the water. Aside from the elevator in Bettendorf, people will be able to reach the ground via ramps that reflect the downward slope of the vehicle lanes.

Alvarez  tells the Times that the bridge's multi use trail is intended to connect the downtown areas of Bettendorf and Moline, as well as the trail system in both downtown areas.  The bridge ends at River Drive in Moline and on U.S. 67 in Bettendorf.

I'd like to see Moline, or some civic or business organization, pay the freight for a similar elevator on the Illinois side. While it may not be difficult for someone to walk, roll, or ride off the bridge via the ramps, it might me more difficult to ascend the bridge that way. Having an elevator on both sides truly makes the bridge and communities on either side accessible to all. And that's truly what the pedestrian trail is about connecting communities.