Traffic improvements at 24th, Harrison in preliminary stages

The intersection of 24th and Harrison has been eyed for years as a location for a traffic light. While it doesn’t appear a traffic light will be installed in the near future, the city is exploring options to alleviate backed-up traffic.
Posted: Oct. 28, 2013 8:30 am Updated: Nov. 11, 2013 11:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The four-way stop at 24th and Harrison in Quincy's southeast section generates a few headaches for drivers when it backs up during periods of heavy traffic.

Fifth Ward Alderman Jennifer Lepper said she hears complaints from residents about traffic congestion at the intersection, but finding a solution is tricky with residences on the northwest and northeast corners.

Lepper said the city is in the preliminary stages of addressing the problems at the intersection. Adding traffic signals at the intersection would cost more than $800,000.

"If we do make a change at that intersection, we want to make sure that it is going to increase the traffic flow so people aren't going to have to wait as long," she said.

"Also, that it's going to be as engineers like to call it a '20-year fix,' that it's not going to be where we are modifying the intersection and then three years from now, due to even more traffic, we're having to do something else to improve it again."

Lepper said a study of the intersection will help determine what the best course of action is for the intersection.

Marty Wagner, a project engineer with the city's Engineering Department, said the city hired Klingner and Associates to complete preliminary studies to see what can be done at the intersection. Wagner said part of the problem with the intersection is that it typically only backs up during the morning and evening commute.

"Whatever you put there is going to be there 24 hours a day," he said.

Lepper said she is open to options at the intersection, including the possibility of installing turn lanes to allow more traffic to flow through the intersection similar to 36th and Columbus Road.

"Right now, we're in the process of having engineering review these options and kind of figure out what's going to be our best benefit to move forward and what is going to be cost efficient as well," she said.

Wagner said putting in turn lanes at the intersection likely would not improve traffic flow.

"The studies show that (turn lanes) actually create more confusion for the drivers," he said. "So what needs to be done is you need to have some type of control. A traffic signal or a roundabout are about the only choices."

A roundabout, which would be new to Quincy, is a type of circular intersection where traffic moves in one direction around a central island.