Bill Klingner Trail wins ACEC-IL Honor Award

Bridge connecting the new Bill Klingner Trail segment to the existing trail.
Bridge connecting the new Bill Klingner Trail segment to the existing trail.

Klingner & Associates, P.C. (Klingner) and Quincy Park District will receive a 2022 ACEC-Illinois (ACEC-IL) Engineering Excellence Honor Award for the Bill Klingner Trail extensions in Quincy, IL. Klingner’s design was one of only 10 projects granted an Honor Award – one of the highest project awards issued.

Two segments of the Bill Klingner Trail are featured for this award: 18th St to 24th St and 5th St to Parker Heights Park. These new extensions, which were completed in 2020, create a safe, accessible 2.44-mile pedestrian corridor between the heart of the City and the riverfront. Expanding the trail in both directions created additional access points for residents, as well as opened new opportunities to improve community health in Adams County – ranked the eighth most obese county in Illinois according to 2017 public health data. Design required careful planning to preserve greenspace, minimize grading, complete the project efficiently, and address flooding concerns.

Since the extensions’ completion, public interest in the trail has skyrocketed. According to Quincy Park District’s Ecocounter, the trail has seen an average of 300 trail users per day since March 2021 with over 80,000 trips thru November 2021.

“The Bill Klingner Trail is an asset to the entire community and the use of the trail has exceeded our expectations,” said Quincy Park District Executive Director, Rome Frericks. “This award represents years of design, planning, and fundraising from the entire community.”

Imagined by engineer William “Bill” H. Klingner, the conceptual trail was initially presented in 1946 as a loop connecting the community to the Mississippi River. Nearly 50 years later, Quincy Park District (QPD) and the City of Quincy began working with the Klingner firm to realize Bill’s dream. Today, four segments of the trail have been completed with plans for an additional three in the fundraising stage.

“The bike and walking trail through the creek valleys on the outskirts of Quincy was a vision well before its time,” said firm president and Bill’s son, Mike Klingner. “As sections are constructed, the trail has attracted outstanding community support to see its completion.”

The 2022 ACEC-IL Engineering Excellence Awards will recognize 33 projects of engineering achievement by Illinois engineering firms. Entries were judged on the basis of engineering excellence, the degree to which client needs were met, and the benefits to the public’s welfare and the private practice of engineering. Projects were considered in 12 categories covering a wide range of consulting services for Honor, Special Achievement, and Merit Awards. The award will be presented at the 2022 Engineering Excellence Awards Gala on February 17 in Rosemont, IL.

To donate to future segments of the Bill Klingner Trail, call Friends of the Trails at 217-223-7703 or visit friendsofthetrails.org.


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PHOTOS: Aerials of the new trail segments.