TUSCOLA – Last year, state and county inspectors visited the bridges that carry U.S. 45 over the CSX railroad tracks and U.S. 36 in Tuscola.
When a piece of equipment punched right through the bridge decks, the inspectors knew something was wrong.
DANVILLE – Danville resident Roger Farris crosses a one-lane bridge on South Griffin Street every day to get to his favorite restaurant and convenience store.
"It seems fairly busy," he said of the traffic, which includes cars, school buses and occasionally tractor-trailers. As for his safety while crossing the short span, he said, "I'm not worried about it. It seems pretty solid."
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign County is making headway in replacing or repairing its structurally deficient bridges, county and state highway officials say.
Of the four Champaign County bridges under state jurisdiction that had a score below 50 out of 100, three were or are being rehabilitated this year and a fourth is on the state's multiyear improvement program to be repaired within the next five or six years, according to Jerry Cearlock, an operations engineer with Illinois Department of Transportation District 5 office in Paris.
There has been a vehicle-pedestrian accident in Champaign-Urbana about once a week this year, according to police records.
That number has been steady for several years.
Christie Alekna and Bernadette Gil have seen signs, signals and chain fences on University of Illinois campus streets.
"They even put up little chains so people are walking in the crosswalks," said Alekna, a 19-year-old sophomore.
CHAMPAIGN – The boy exchanged "I love yous" with his mother and struggled up the steps of the school bus with his Spider-Man backpack, on his way to his first day of kindergarten at Garden Hills Elementary School.
Bus monitor Edna Kennedy took his backpack for him. He sat across the aisle from her, and she asked him, "Do you know your bus number? One-zero-two."
CHAMPAIGN – Bus driver Larry Walker was taking students to Westview Elementary School on a morning earlier this week. He was on Prospect Avenue, slowing down to turn left onto John Street, when a car pulled right out in front of him to make a left onto Prospect.
"Did you see that?" asked Edna Kennedy, the bus monitor in charge of keeping student behavior under control and helping children who need it.
DANVILLE – Buses aren't for George Bell – a local resident who usually walks everywhere – but a local transportation committee will meet Sept. 10 to make sure that people like Bell and others have more choices in public transportation.
The Danville Area Transportation Study committee is hosting a meeting of community members and agencies – such as churches and nonprofit organizations – to begin to develop a plan that better coordinates the transportation these organizations provide.
DANVILLE – Upcoming construction projects could reroute traffic soon in Danville.
City officials announced that Winter Avenue could close as early as Wednesday, from Winter Park's soccer and girls' softball fields to Bowman Avenue, for the next six weeks.
ARTHUR – The growth in Amish cottage industries of cabinet shops and farm markets is creating a need for new road construction in Bourbon Township.
This week the Douglas County Highway Engineering Office held an open forum for community members to express concerns about the upcoming completion of Springfield Road, a 4 1/2-mile stretch connecting Arthur and Arcola. Over the past 20 years serious improvements have been made to the Chesterville and Rockome sections of the road. This new construction "completes the puzzle to upgrade the roadway," Douglas County highway engineer Jim Crane says.