A large number of mussels inhabit the Mississippi River within the project area. The project team is working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to mitigate impacts on these federally protected species. In September 2016, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation undertook extensive efforts to relocate more than 140,000 mussels (29 species) on the shorelines and around the piers of the I-74 project area prior to the start of construction. This relocation effort was one of the largest in the country. A second phase of mussel relocation will take place in advance of the demolition of the existing I-74 bridge.