ANSWERS: Signal lights on State and Harrison, signs for QU and Miss Illinois' red dress

Posted: Feb. 22, 2013 6:59 pm Updated: Nov. 28, 2014 3:34 pm
"Big Red" weighs 46 pounds, Miss Illinois Megan Ervin says. (Submitted Photo)

How is it that 12th and Vermont and 12th and Hampshire both have signal lights and they are one-way streets, yet 18th and State and 24th and Harrison don't have signal lights?

City engineer Jeff Steinkamp says 12th and Vermont and 12th and Hampshire are leading into the downtown area, which is why there are signal lights at those intersections.

"It's two major streets intersecting with another major street," he said. "I don't know if you can take them away."

Steinkamp said that the intersections of 18th and State and 24th and Harrison "probably warrant signalization," but two factors make it problematic.

First, neither area has much room to add the signals. Steinkamp says the city would have to look into tearing down nearby houses at 24th and Harrison and possibly buy property.

Funding also is a problem. Steinkamp believes it would cost between $250,000 and $300,000 to add signals at 18th and State, and "we're talking anywhere from a half-million to $750,000" at 24th and Harrison.

He said the traffic counts at 24th and Harrison are similar to 24th and State, which has a traffic signal.

"There are many times when I come up to 24th and State, and traffic is backed up a block," he said. "Signalization doesn't solve everything by any means. Yes, you might be sitting at a stop sign at times, but there are times when you go to 24th and Harrison and no one is there, either. Traffic signals aren't the best thing all the time."


Anyone coming to Quincy from Missouri on U.S. 24 has to go 5 miles north of town (where U.S. 24 meets 24th Street) before seeing a directional sign for Quincy University. Wouldn't it make more sense to have a sign at Fourth and Broadway or at Fourth and Chestnut? There are signs well-placed for QU at 18th and Broadway and at 24th and College, as well as one heading south toward Quincy from Ursa on U.S. 24.

Steinkamp said that if the sign in question is on a state route, the university would need to talk with the Illinois Department of Transportation to ask for it to be put in a different spot.

"However, if (school officials) think there's a better location, they can work through me," he said.


I would like to know where Miss Illinois got her evening gown for the Miss America pageant. I thought that red dress with the flounce at the bottom was so beautiful.

Megan Ervin, the Rushville native who finished in the top 10 at the Miss America pageant, said the red dress she wore was designed by image consultant Mac Duggal, whose business is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge. Ervin said Duggal had designed at least a half-dozen gowns on the stage in Las Vegas that night, but hers was the only one sponsored by him. She said it was valued at $10,000.

Ervin said her image consultant for Miss Illinois, Stephanie Tiller, had the same vision on the dress.

"We wanted something dramatic, a little over the top," she said. "(Duggal) had been dying to do something like this."

One worry for Ervin was that the dress weighs 46 pounds.

"We've given it the name ‘Big Red,'" Ervin said.

For now, the dress is in an extra bedroom at her parents' home in Rushville. She will wear it again in June for the Miss Illinois pageant, and she plans to bring it to the Miss Quincy pageant in March.

After that, Ervin does have one more date she'd like to wear it.

"I've talked to Duggal about this," she said. "If they'll die it white, I'll get married in it. I have an emotional tie to it."


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