City Finance Committee Chairman balks at increased roundabout costs

roundabout

The intersection of 48th and State. MRN FILE PHOTO

QUINCY — Adams County Engineer Jim Frankenhoff had to be the bearer of bad news at the City of Quincy’s Finance Committee meeting Monday night.

Frankenhoff told the committee that the costs of implementing a roundabout at 48th and State have increased to about $5 million and the City of Quincy’s share will increase by another $300,000.

City of Quincy Finance Committee Chairman Mike Rein said he doesn’t believe a majority of aldermen will approve that kind of increase.

“I’ve been monitoring the intersection and the traffic count doesn’t warrant it,” Rein said. “Especially when the cost has doubled since we first discussed it and the scope of the project has changed. It’s not really a problem and it’s certainly not a priority for the aldermen that are affected. We should wait until it is a problem.”

In March 2022, the City Council approved a joint agreement between Quincy and Adams County that led to the purchase of land, construction and utilities needed to accommodate building the roundabout. At that time, the total cost of the project was estimated at around $4 million with the City paying 60 percent and the County paying 40 percent, with the City paying more because it was bearing all of the cost of about 600 feet of water lines west of the intersection on State Street.

The streets to the north and west of the intersection are considered “city” streets, while the streets to the east and south are in the county’s jurisdiction.

The need for the roundabout was cited by Frankenhoff because the traffic had increased due to the city’s population spread to the east. Also, John Wood Community College and two Quincy Public Schools elementary buildings have been added over the last 20 years.

Frankenhoff added that cost increase includes more than just the roundabout, with other infrastructure improvements including widening the streets, adding sidewalks, replacing culverts as well as water and gas lines.

If the City of Quincy backs out of building the roundabout, Frankenhoff said Adams County could possibly just turn the intersection and its maintenance over to the City.

“All City residents also pay County taxes, but we (Adams County) can’t just go work on City streets,” Frankenhoff said.

Rein, who represents Quincy’s Fifth Ward where the proposed roundabout is located, said he supports roundabouts, but doesn’t believe the traffic count warrants one at that location. He added he had lobbied previous administrations to put roundabouts at 24th and Harrison and 48th and Harrison during the time when John Wood Community College was building its current campus.

“I do welcome the county’s participation and am willing to look at it when it is a problem,” Rein said. “But I have higher priorities in the Fifth Ward.”

The City of Quincy’s Finance Committee will revisit the issue again before it goes to the full City Council.

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