Quincy News

Quincy Transportation town hall slated for Tuesday

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 18, 2019 12:01 am

QUINCY -- Officials with the city of Quincy and consultants from the Lochmueller Group will be seeking the public's input on transportation issues and the Quincy Regional Transportation Plan during a 90-minute town hall on Tuesday.

The meeting will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Quincy University Hall of Fame Room in the Pepsi Arena, 1901 Oak Street.

The Quincy Regional Transportation Plan was developed as part of the Quincy Next Strategic Plan, which identifies more than 100 different initiatives and improvements that could be made to the community. Many of those initiatives and improvements relate to the regional transportation system.

Maggie Strong, a consultant with the city of Quincy, said the town hall is not just limited to Quincy residents, but open to anyone who uses Quincy's transportation system, whether that is by driving, walking, public transit, the Amtrak train, or Quincy Regional Airport.

"We need all voices," Strong said. "This is an opportunity for us to be heard as a community about the future of transportation in Quincy and in the region."

Attendees at the town hall will visit different topical stations, where officials will be able to have informal conversations about transportation issues such as freight, pedestrian safety, parking, downtown traffic flow, traffic congestion, or the proposed alignment of the new Memorial Bridge.

Strong said she anticipates that the bridge alignment will be a focal point of the discussions held at the town hall.

"The replacement of the Memorial Bridge is a key part of what we want to hear from the community and how will that alignment impact how they come to Quincy and travel downtown streets," Strong said.

The new Memorial Bridge is proposed to be built to align with York Street, two blocks south of the current Maine Street alignment. The new bridge is expected to cost $100 million.

Last fall, officials said the York Street alignment would not affect as many properties or existing buildings compared to building the bridge next to either the Bayview Bridge or the current Memorial Bridge. The York Street alignment is expected to lower the cost of construction by $50 million or more.

In meetings since that announcement, local officials have said they hope to convince Illinois Department of Transportation officials to move the alignment of the new bridge.

"IDOT has said to us that we have to show them that we have had a strong public dialogue," said Chuck Bevelheimer, Quincy's director of planning and development during a meeting earlier this month. "So, what the city needs is to have a kind of ‘Get out the Vote' push to show that the public is engaged about the future of the bridge and that they are backing the recommendation that the proposed alignment be changed."

Strong said another topic of conversation will be the city's push to secure state funding to expand Ill. 57 to a four-lane highway from Quincy to Fall Creek, where the highway intersects with Interstate 172.

"All of this connects into one another, so we are going to be talking about all of it," Strong said. Light snacks and drinks will be provided along with activities for kids as organizers of the town hall hope to garner feedback from a wide swath of the community, including people of all ages.

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