Klingner & Associates receives national engineering award for Bill Klingner Trail extensions project

Klingner Trail

The Bill Klingner Trail | Drone photo courtesy of Kelsey Pigg, Klingner & Associates

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Klingner & Associates of Quincy, Ill., recently earned a national recognition award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 55th annual Engineering Excellence Awards for the Bill Klingner Trail extensions project in Quincy.

Imagined by engineer William “Bill” H. Klingner, the conceptual trail initially was presented in 1946 as a loop connecting the community to the Mississippi River. The new extensions — 18th Street to 24th Street, and Fifth Street to Parker Heights Park — create a safe, accessible 2.44-mile pedestrian corridor between the heart of Quincy and the riverfront. Expanding the trail in both directions created additional access points for residents, and it opened new opportunities to improve community health in Adams County — ranked the eighth most obese county in Illinois according to 2017 public health data.

The design required planning to preserve greenspace, minimize grading, ensure efficient project completion and address flooding concerns. Since the extensions were added, public interest in the trail has skyrocketed. The trail saw more than 69,000 visits during peak trail season of May 1-October 1, 2021. Fundraising is under way for three additional trail extensions.

The project is part of 195 entries this year representing engineering excellence from throughout the nation and the world. Judging for the awards program — known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry” — took place in February and was conducted by a national 27-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the media and academia. Award criteria focused on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession. 

Recognition of all award winners including top winners — 20 honor awards, 16 grand awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement — will take place during the EEA Gala in Washington, D.C., on May 24.

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