QUINCY — Now that the Quincy Riverfront Master Plan has been approved at the city and county level, city officials said there are some big plans they hope to roll out by next summer.
However, Quincy Planning and Development Director Chuck Bevelheimer said the idea is to wait for the approval of the Quincy Park District board, who will vote on the master plan next month, before presenting the proposal to the Illinois Department of Transportation and potential donors.
“We want to speak with one voice on (these) projects,” Bevelheimer said.
Although demolition of the Quincy Memorial Bridge and the building of the York Street Bridge are still several years away, Bevelheimer said conversations with IDOT about riverfront development as it relates to their bridge replacement plans revolves around three key elements: a scenic overlook, a pedestrian ramp from Maine Street to Clat Adams Park and accessibility improvements to Maine Street to make it more pedestrian-oriented.
“We have good public feedback and that’s what we heard from IDOT that they want to make sure if we proposed a plan for bringing back Maine Street to the riverfront once the bridge is in place, we need to have a well-vetted plan from the public of what they want,” Bevelheimer said.
The master plan outlines a multi-phase process for development.
One project currently in the planning phase is the burying of overhead Ameren lines, which would improve the riverfront’s overall aesthetic and improve views from private properties east of Front Street.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.1 million to $1.3 million. A $350,000 grant to assist with the first phase of the project was awarded in coordination with Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, and additional funding is expected from Ameren and the city.
Other projects targeted for the first one to three years of the plan’s implementation, pending necessary funding, include the addition of an event plaza for between $1.7 million to $2 million, the creation of a fountain plaza for $1.9 million to $2.4 million and the addition of a courtesy dock for $900,000 to $1.4 million.
Bevelheimer said as future grant opportunities are examined, the city needs to be able to move expeditiously.
Quincy Utilities and Engineering Director Jeffrey Conte said one of his department’s first projects along the riverfront will be the removal of the city’s original pump station buildings by Quincy Memorial Bridge. A new pump station then would be construction at a higher elevation to avoid the risk of flooding.
Conte said the hope is to start this project, which is included in Quincy’s fiscal 2022 budget, some time next year.
Following this, Conte said the department has plans to remove a building and circular tank just south of the dock on Hampshire Street. The department then would address a three-level building south of Quincy Memorial Bridge.
“(The building) is being used for part of the water treatment process but will be obsolete in a couple years, at which point it will be repurposed or torn down,” Conte said.