Pregracke and his team at Living Lands & Waters (along with hundreds of volunteers) have for several years been restoring the natural prairie along this corridor.
While the environment is always at top of mind, his chief goal is to deliver a project that would “put the Quad-Cities on the map.”
A ‘must-stop’ destination
Interstate 80 is the second-longest interstate highway system in the country, stretching nearly 3,000 miles between San Francisco and (just outside) New York City.
“The bridge carries 42,000 vehicles a day, and families remember going over the Mississippi River here, but that’s about it,” Pregracke said during a pre-reveal of his plans last month at the Quad-City Times and Moline Dispatch-Argus. “They’re not stopping, not even for gas.”
Bison Bridge would turn travelers into tourists.
“The Quad-Cities is losing people. The Midwest is losing people, especially young people,” he said. “This isn’t a solve-all, but it will put us on the map.
“It’s a must-stop. And it’s not just a summertime deal.”
To make sure Bison Bridge is a year-round attraction, the plans place a visitor center directly on the span. The pathways will cross over it, giving added height to the river vistas.