Case study | Environmental Science
Florence Bridge Feasibility Study
Illinois Department of Transportation
Horner & Shifrin, Inc.
$100,000 (Study Fee)
Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC (KEG), in coordination with Horner and Shifrin, Inc., was contracted by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to conduct a feasibility study of the Florence Bridge (Illinois Route 106) in Florence, Illinois. The purpose of the study, referred to as the Lower Illinois River Regional Crossing Study (LIRRCS), was to assess the feasibility of improved access across the Illinois River in west-central Illinois. The study focused on potential measures to maintain access, reduce operations and maintenance costs, and improve safety for current and future users of the Florence Bridge crossing.
The Florence Bridge is a lift-span bridge with high operating costs. The nearest downstream crossing, the Kampsville Ferry, is located 25 miles south of Florence; whereas, the nearest crossing to the north, I-72, is located 4 miles north. Local industries make numerous trips across the Florence Bridge each day, making its presence vital to the economy and mobility of the region.
The Feasibility Study examined a variety of engineering and environmental factors, including generalized economic, social, and environmental impacts of potential alternatives. The alternatives included the following: No Action (operate lift bridge and repair as needed), Remove Florence Bridge (no improvement), Remove Florence Bridge (improvements to CH14 and an interchange at I-72), Remove and Replace Florence Bridge (directly upstream or downstream of existing bridge), or Remove Florence Bridge and Replace at Pearl. The preferred alternative was to ‘Remove and Replace Florence Bridge (directly upstream or downstream of existing bridge)’.
KEG performed the public involvement tasks for the project, as well as the environmental review for incorporation into the Feasibility Study. The Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) public involvement approach by KEG began at project initiation and continued throughout the duration of the study. Techniques included a mailing database, newsletter, project website, meetings with agency and government representatives, press advisories, newspaper advertisements, public meetings, and Community Advisory Group (CAG) meetings. In addition, a Community Context Audit was performed to provide stakeholders another opportunity to help the Study Team better understand the factors unique to the project community, culture, and history. The environmental review included initiating coordination with regulatory agencies, a general environmental reconnaissance survey of the study area, GIS mapping of affected areas, and a narrative detailing the potential environmental constraints identified in each of the conceptual alternatives.
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