Officials: Boaters should avoid bridge construction zone

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BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard and Iowa Department of Transportation are asking recreational boaters to be vigilant as construction of a new bridge over the Mississippi River continues.

The Quad-City Times reports that the Interstate 74 bridge construction zone is potentially dangerous for recreational boaters. Danielle Alvarez, I-74 project manager for the state DOT, says boats should slow to a crawl when in and near the work zone. Boaters should also keep a safe distance from the project's tow boats as they are constantly delivering workers and supplies.

Excursion boat captain Scott Schadler says some boats are getting close to barges so occupants can look at the bridge construction. He says that can be dangerous because barge operators can't see the boaters because the barges are loaded with equipment.