By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Who is responsible for road repairs for the section of road from the (Memorial) bridge entering Quincy from Missouri up to the light at Third and Maine? The street is in disrepair and is not a good reflection on our city for visitors approaching Quincy. When will repairs be made?
People who believe repairs need to be made to roads in their neighborhood typically call their alderman or the city's engineering department. However, since the road in question is U.S. 24, which stretches from Mintum, Colo., to Clarkston, Mich., any repairs must be addressed by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The highway program summary for the Illinois Department of Transportation for Region 4 District 6 encompasses plans for roads in 15 counties in West Central Illinois and includes Springfield, Jacksonville, Quincy, Lincoln and Taylorville. The state highway system in District 6 consists of 2,083 miles of highways and 844 bridges, and about $397 million will be provided for fiscal years 2013-18 for improvements.
Among those improvements is $1 million worth of preliminary engineering work to be done on the Quincy Memorial Bridge. Missouri and Illinois are expected to share the cost equally.
Spokesman Josh Kauffman said the 33-page document, which can be found on IDOT's website, is the "general blueprint" that will be followed for coming years.
"Everything on that list is what's on our primary radar for the next six years, pending available funding," he said.
Please find out why when the Amtrak train is at the station, the arms are down, preventing any traffic from going in any direction. The train doesn't even come close to the tracks where vehicles cross, but cars and trucks are forced to sit for several minutes. No one is loading or getting off the train, and even if they were, it would not cause a hazard.
The Amtrak station is near the intersection of 30th and Wismann Lane, and a train is at the station four times daily. The Illinois Zephyr leaves Quincy at 6:12 a.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Quincy at 10:23 p.m. The Carl Sandburg is scheduled to arrive at 12:03 p.m. and leaves Quincy at 5:30 p.m.
Marc Magliari, media relations manager for Amtrak in Chicago, said the gates and the tracks that trigger them are controlled by BNSF Railway. He added that the trains stop in Quincy where they allow passengers to board from the platform just south of the Amtrak building, so stopping further from the crossing is not a possibility. The gates on the tracks are less than 50 yards from the platform.
Amy McBeth, director of public affairs for BNSF for seven Midwestern states, said that given the proximity of the depot to the crossing, when Amtrak is stopped at the depot, the train will activate the crossing warning system because the train is on the portion of the crossing circuit that activates the crossing arms.
"Regardless of whether the train is stopped or moving, because it is within that area, the warning system is activated," McBeth said in an email. "This is by design and for the safety of the public."
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