- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - An online fundraising campaign has been launched to raise $50,000 in 30 days to go toward the construction of a footbridge over Davenport’s East River Drive.

The Quad-City Times (https://bit.ly/1G6P4mb ) reports the bridge would allow walkers and cyclists to safely cross U.S. Highway 67 to reach the new River Heritage Park. A Kickstarter campaign was launched by River Action Inc. to help raise the necessary funds.

The structure would be a replica of a bridge that opened in Davenport in 1856 and was the first to cross the Mississippi River anywhere in the country.

River Action Inc. is also soliciting grants from the Iowa and U.S. transportation departments. They will also seek funds from the national group People for Bikes and the local Riverboat Authority and Bechtel Foundation.

“If we can show a robust response (via Kickstarter), it’s really going to help,” said Kathy Wine, River Action’s executive director.

The total cost of the bridge is estimated to be $2 million to $3 million.

If the Kickstarter goal is not met within 30 days, the group will not be able to collect any of the pledged donations. Nine rewards are being offered for people who pledge to the campaign, including a postcard of the original bridge, a T-shirt and an invitation to a VIP party on the bridge when it opens.

If the Davenport-based nonprofit environmental group can raise enough money this year, they could begin to solicit construction bids. According to Wine, the structure would be built off-site during the winter and put into place next spring.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com

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