Illinois Department of Transportation—Savanna-Sabula Bridge

The old U.S. 52-Illinois 64 bridge over the Mississippi River, which connected Savanna, Ill., and Sabula, Iowa, had been feeling like “a tight squeeze” for some time. The bridge was just 20 feet across, with no room for shoulders—a major safety concern, as this meant disabled vehicles or bicycles could block travel lanes. Large trucks often overlapped into the opposite lane, which added to congestion and further heightened safety concerns.

To improve safety for all bridge users and to accommodate for emergency situations, IDOT built a new $80 million structure. The new structure is more than 2,400 feet long, stretching from the middle of the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife & Fish Refuge on the Iowa side, to the high bluffs of the Mississippi Palisades State Park in Illinois. IDOT doubled the width of the bridge, allowing for two wider lanes and shoulders on each side; features that provide safer passage for drivers, emergency vehicles, and bicyclists alike.