- Associated Press - Monday, June 26, 2017

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) - Iowa and Illinois have partnered to build a bridge across the Mississippi River that will connect the neighboring states.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner attended a groundbreaking ceremony Monday in the Iowa city of Bettendorf to discuss the future Interstate 74 Mississippi River bridge. The $1.2 billion construction project is expected to begin this summer and be completed in 2021.

The project will replace two aging bridges and include a new pedestrian and bike path. Transportation agencies in both states will coordinate construction work.

Rauner attended the event in the middle of a special legislative session he’s called in Illinois to try and force a budget deal. If lawmakers don’t reach an agreement by Saturday, Illinois will enter its third straight year without a spending plan.

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