McCombie, Anderson visit work site of new Illinois-Iowa bridge
Rep. Tony McCombie (R- Savanna) and Sen. Neil Anderson (R-Rock Island) recently got a look at the progress being made on the Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge, which will connect Savanna with Sabula, Iowa, according to a press release from McCombie.
The bridge is named after astronaut and Savanna native Capt. Dale Gardner and slated for completion in 2018. The structure will cost an estimated $80 million and replace the current US-52/US-64 bridge, which opened more than 85 years ago, according to the release.
Gardner grew up in Savanna, graduating as the valedictorian of Savanna Community High School in 1966. He attended the University of Illinois, studying science and engineering, and graduated in 1970, before joining the U.S. Navy. Achieving the rank of captain, Garner earned his Naval Flight Wings and the attention of NASA, which selected him as an astronaut in 1978. Gardner spent 337 hours in space, for a total of 225 orbits of the Earth.
Gardner died in 2014 at age 65; the General Assembly unanimously voted to name the new bridge in his honor.