EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. — East Dubuque officials revealed more detailed plans for a potential park expansion project Thursday.
Officials with the Gramercy Park board revealed a final conceptual plan for the northern undeveloped section of the park, which sits near Jordan Avenue.
Board member Jeffrey Tranel said the park is owned by the City of East Dubuque, which means any action taken on the concept plan would be up to the East Dubuque City Council.
“This is a framework for future improvements,” Tranel said. “We cannot predict which of these proposals would be carried out.”
The plan shows the development of a trail network that would connect several park features, including three scenic overlooks, a circular gathering space and sites for Native American burial mounds located throughout the park.
Dan Schmitt, of project designers MSA Professional Services, said no official cost estimate for the overall project has been determined.
While the interior features of the park were met with general approval from attendees, there was contention over how the park would be made accessible.
The final plan displays three potential access points — a parking lot on Riverview Terrace, a parking lot with an adjoining trail on Greenwood Drive or a pedestrian bridge that would cross over Jordan Avenue, connecting the north and south sections of the park.
David Sprengelmeyer, an East Dubuque resident who lives on Riverview Terrace, said construction of the lot near his home could result in park visitors walking onto residents’ properties or blocking the road when the lot is full.
“I am adamantly opposed to any parking on Riverview Terrace,” Sprengelmeyer said. “I don’t think the street can handle the parking.”
Sprengelmeyer said he was in favor of a parking lot on Greenwood Drive, but park officials said a lot there would be more costly and would potentially create the same problems as on Riverview Terrace.
Schmitt said a Riverview Terrace lot would cost about $60,000. A Greenwood Drive lot would cost $156,000.
“If there is a problem, aren’t we just moving it from one neighborhood to the other?” Tranel said. “The board felt that Riverview Terrace was the least invasive for the community for now.”
Board members agreed that the most ideal park access would be the pedestrian bridge connecting the two park sections, but at an estimated cost of $600,000, it’s also the least financially feasible.
City Manager Loras Herrig said he is pursuing federal grants to help fund the bridge, but he said success is unlikely. Obtaining funding for all elements of the park project will be necessary.
“You are competing with a lot of people,” Herrig said. “If I promised you we would have that grant next week, I would be lying.”