Local Government

Council gets glimpse of bridge options

By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 2, 2016 9:20 pm Updated: May. 2, 2016 11:00 pm

QUINCY — Aldermen bid farewell to one fiscal year and welcomed another Monday, looking unofficially at possible alignments for a future replacement for the Quincy Memorial Bridge.

The Quincy City Council convened at 2 p.m. to close out fiscal year 2015-16 and met again at 7:30 p.m. for the first meeting of 2016-17.

Both meetings were routine, but aldermen got a chance before and after the meetings to review a large map that showed possible configurations for a new east-bound bridge over the Mississippi River.

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of the Department of Planning and Development, told aldermen about three preferred bridge routes that came out of a meeting hosted by the Illinois Department of Transportation last week.

“One alignment would be just south of Bayview Bridge, another would be just south of the current Memorial Bridge and another would link to York Street,” Bevelheimer said.

All three proposed bridges would connect to Third, avoiding the steep grade that big trucks must climb when coming off the current Memorial Bridge along Maine.

Illinois Department of Transportation hosted the local meeting with more than two dozen stakeholders that had been assembled into a Community Advisory Group. Attendees were divided into working groups and gave input on several other bridge configurations before the three final configurations emerged. A public hearing on the proposals will be held in August or September.

Bevelheimer said construction of a new bridge is still years away. IDOT has no firm cost figures, but has estimated costs at a minimum of $100 million.

“It’s probably a 10-year planning window at least before you’re going to see anything,” Bevelheimer said.

Advisory group members had a variety of reasons for supporting or opposing different bridge configurations. Some oppose the design of a bridge running nearly parallel with Bayview Bridge saying it would cause congestion at Third and Broadway and might mask the impact of the lighting on Bayview Bridge.

Others oppose a bridge parallel with Memorial Bridge because it would force closure of the existing structure during part of the work.

Some like the possible connection at Third and York, saying it allows for big trucks headed to Quincy Soybean to avoid some downtown streets, but others prefer connecting to a higher traffic area.

In other action, the council voted to approve one variance from zoning regulations and called for ordinances to be drafted for five developments recommended by the Quincy Plan Commission.

Properties at 1621, 1635, 1641 and 1647 Broadway will have a reduced landscaping and fence buffer zone in the rear yards after the council approved an ordinance. Niemann Foods Inc. is seeking commercial zoning on three lots in that block to accommodate an Ace Hardware store. The council agreed to consider the rezoning ordinance in coming weeks.

Another ordinance will involve a three-lot subdivision on 5.23 acres located east of 4561 Maine to be known as Curtis D. Fauble Subdivision.

A 10-lot residential subdivision also is planned on South 57th and West St. Anthony’s Road, to be known as Huntington Hills Subdivision.

A 1.22-acre tract located east of 4561 Maine is being considered for limited local commercial zoning. That would be a chance from the current multi-family residential subdivision.

Amendments to allow night clubs and cabarets in the downtown districts will be considered by the council in coming weeks.

Aldermen also confirmed the reappointment of Ron Dreyer as a trustee on the Quincy Police Pension Fund Board.