Interstate highways in Iowa
29
35
74
80
129
235
280
380
480
680
For an explanation of the route listings, click here.

Interstate 74
Length in Iowa: 5½ miles/9 kilometers
Northern terminus: I-80 (exit #298) in Davenport
Southern terminus: Illinois state line (Mississippi River) at Bettendorf with US 6
Entrance photos

Counties: Scott
Cities along route: Davenport, Bettendorf

Exit lists: Entire route in Iowa
Multiplexes: 2½ miles with US 6, from exit #2 at the Davenport/Bettendorf border into Illinois; they stay together for another 5 miles through Moline before splitting at the interchange with I-280.
History
  • August 30, 1968: Segment between I-80 and Spruce Hills Drive (exit #2) in Davenport completed
  • September 2, 1971: Segment between Spruce Hills Drive and Kimberly Road (exit #4) in Bettendorf completed; US 6 was then routed onto I-74 from its previous route along East Kimberly Road in Bettendorf.
  • November 26, 1974: Access from exit #4 to the existing Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge into Illinois completed.
  • Notes
  • I-74 runs north-south in Iowa despite being marked as an east-west route.
  • Before 2004, the exit signs along I-80 (at exit #298) listed Peoria as the destination for I-74, with Bettendorf and Moline as secondary destinations. Never mind that, if heading eastbound, I-80 and I-74 meet again in Illinois -- and you can keep driving straight if you're actually heading toward Peoria and points to the east. The segment through Iowa is more suitable for local traffic. In 2004 the signs at the interchange were changed so that through traffic is directed to eastbound I-80 instead of I-74.
  • Confused? Well, Illinois tried to remedy this problem around 1991 by proposing a re-routing of I-74 through the Quad Cities. I-74 would have follow the current I-80 from the cloverleaf junction in Colona (known as the "Big X") to the exit with I-280 in Davenport. I-80 would have replaced the current I-280, and the present I-74 would have become I-174. Iowa leaders, concerned that some of the businesses along the present I-80 would lose money if I-80 was re-routed, balked at the idea. In July of 1993, the Federal Highway Administration intervened and rejected Illinois' proposed Interstate renumbering. Kurumi's I-280 page has more information on the renumbering controversy.
  • The Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge (now known by locals as simply the "I-74 bridge") actually predates I-74 itself; it was first built as a single span for US 6 in 1935, while the second span dates back from 1959. Tolls were collected here until 1970, and I-74 was connected onto this bridge (which does not meet modern Interstate standards due to its lack of shoulders and 50-mph speed limit) in 1974. Plans to improve the corridor are online at the I-74 Iowa-Illinois Corridor page. Grading and paving for the reconstructed I-74 began in the 2015 fiscal year, while construction of the new bridge is scheduled to begin in fiscal 2018.

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    © 1998-2016 by Jason Hancock / Last updated June 8, 2016