Bill Klingner Trail wins ACEC National Engineering Excellence Award

Mike Klingner (left center) and Lance Schuette (right center) being presented with the award

Klingner & Associates, P.C. (Klingner) and Quincy Park District (QPD) will receive a 2022 National Recognition Award for the Bill Klingner Trail extensions in Quincy, IL, from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the business voice of the nation’s engineering and design industry.

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 QPD’s Ecocounter, the trail saw an average of 448 trail users per day and 69,457 visits during peak trail season between May 1, 2021 and October 1, 2021.

“The Bill Klingner Trail is an asset to the entire community and the use of the trail has exceeded our expectations,” said QPD 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, 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.”

To qualify for the award, projects must have been completed anywhere in the world between Nov. 1, 2018, and Oct. 31, 2021. Nominations are made through ACEC’s 52 state and regional Member Organizations. Nominees are evaluated based on overall engineering excellence; the work performed by the entering firm; and the project’s uniqueness, value to the engineering profession, design considerations, complexity, and fulfillment of the owner’s needs.

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