Workers from Lunda Construction Co. were back at work on the $322 million Interstate 74 bridge between Moline, Illinois, and Bettendorf, Iowa, March 30, following a weeklong suspension imposed on March 23 after a contractor employee tested positive for COVID-19.
The condition of a second worker quarantined while awaiting a COVID-19 test result has not been disclosed.
“Lunda is back to work with a majority of their staff and is focusing on activities that are critical for the westbound bridge opening in the second half of 2020,” said Iowa Dept. of Transportation project manager Danielle Alvarez in a statement. That includes installing the final six sections of the westbound span’s basket-handle arch. "Lunda took quick action to remove the worker that was sick, notify the DOT, and temporarily suspend work last week," she adds.
Alvarez added that all contractors on the project have been taking steps consistent with current state and federal guidelines regarding COVID-19. She added that Iowa and Illinois DOTs and the project’s contractors “are monitoring the situation day-by-day and continue to make adjustments as needed to continue work while protecting the safety of our workers.”
Lunda Construction, based in Black River Falls, Wisc., has referred inquiries to the Iowa DOT, the bridge project’s lead agency.
Part of a $1.2-billion corridor improvement program, the bridge project has fallen approximately one year behind schedule as a result of numerous weather- and flood-related delays, as well as a constructability dispute between Lunda and the Iowa DOT. The Mississippi River was forecast to be slightly above flood stage for the next several days.