Herald-Whig

City unveils street project portion of infrastructure package

The Stone Arch Bridge stands over Curtis Creek on South Eighth Street in Quincy on Thursday, July 11, 2019. The list of street projects for the city's proposed infrastructure program were released Monday, including $400,000 in improvements for the bridge. | H-W File Photo/Katelyn Metzger
Katelyn Metzger1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 13, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Aug. 13, 2019 8:41 am

QUINCY -- The new year could bring a whole host of street closures and detours to Quincy as the City Council continues to move forward with the preliminary steps of the $33 million infrastructure initiative proposed by Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore last month.

The multi-million package includes $19 million for street projects and $14 million for water and sewer projects

On Monday, the city released a preliminary list of 32 ward-specific and seven community-wide street and sidewalk projects. The list of 12 water and sewer projects were released earlier this month.

Among the community-wide projects are $400,000 for the repair of the South 8th Street Bridge; $800,000 for resurfacing North 12th Street from Maine to Broadway; $100,000 for resurfacing South 12th Street from Cherry Lane to the city limits; $1.5 million for removal of street car tracks and resurfacing of South 12th Street from Greenmount Cemetery to State Street; and $1 million for widening South 48th Street from Harrison to Maine Street. The list also calls for a possible roundabout to be built along South 48th Street near the campus of John Wood Community College.

Moore said it will be up to engineers to determine if a roundabout is the best option for the stretch of roadway that sees traffic for the local college, for Quincy Public Schools and for Blessing Hospital. All three entities have requested changes be made to the intersection.

The list released on Monday includes three projects for the 1st Ward; five projects for the 2nd Ward; five projects for the 3rd Ward; four projects for the 4th Ward; six projects for the 5th Ward; five projects for the 6th Ward; and four projects for the 7th Ward. As part of the infrastructure package, each of the city's wards receive $2 million for street and sidewalk projects.

The city would pay for the projects by selling bonds for the street projects and a low-interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the water and sewer projects.

During Monday night's city council meeting, aldermen heard the first of three readings regarding a proposed ordinance that would allow the city to finance up to $25 million in bonds. This ordinance would allow for the city to refinance the remaining bonds from a 2009 project.

"The goal and what we have promised is that the capitol improvement portion of our tax levy will remain flat, so it is important that we do not exceed the parameters set for this package," Moore said.

Moore stressed that the list released on Monday was still a preliminary list and would only be finalized once the city secured financing for the infrastructure package and pending a vote from the Quincy City Council.

"Once we have those numbers, then we will come back to the city council and ask them what they have heard from their constituents about the projects," Moore said. "We will then adopt a final list of projects by resolution."

Once the project list is finalized, Moore said the city will request proposals and qualifications from engineers for the projects. Members of the Quincy City Council and the mayor say they hope the engineering work will be completed over the winter so that the city can soliciting bids for the projects in the spring and summer.

Moore said it is important that the projects be completed in 2020.

"The goal is to show taxpayers the immediate benefit of their tax dollars," Moore said. "We have done well in doubling investment in streets, water and sewer projects, but often people don't think that is enough. Hopefully on these major corridors and into their neighborhoods, people can see that progress and see that infrastructure is the number one commitment of this city council and this administration."