Road work to close Springfield into October on campus

Road work to close Springfield into October on campus

URBANA — Starting Tuesday, Springfield Avenue from Wright Street to Mathews Avenue in Urbana will be closed to traffic for more than a month because of two construction projects.

A contractor working for the University of Illinois will be installing a new chilled-water distribution pipe and making improvements to the crosswalk on Springfield Avenue in that two-block area.

That means Springfield will have to be closed to traffic until the anticipated completion on Oct. 12 at 5 p.m.

To accommodate the work, Stoughton Street will change temporarily from a one-way west-to-east street to a one-way east-to-west street between Mathews and Goodwin avenues.

And traffic on Springfield Avenue will be detoured to University Avenue via Wright Street and Goodwin Avenue.

The entire pavement along that stretch of Springfield will be removed and new pavement installed, according to Andy Blacker, spokesman for the UI Facilities & Services.

About 10 years ago, the university installed special, in-pavement lights at the crosswalk near the Grainger Engineering Library. Signs with flashing lights that turn on automatically when someone walks or bikes across Springfield were also installed.

But the crosswalk has required a lot of maintenance over the years and the university instead will switch to new signs. The signs will have pedestrian-activated lights, but people will have to push a button in order to activate them.

The ADA-accessible ramps in the area also will be updated, Blacker said.

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SthrnTransplant wrote on September 03, 2012 at 9:09 am

Couldn't this have been done over the summer?

Orbiter wrote on September 03, 2012 at 9:09 am

There have been a lot of campus street projects involving closures over the summer, and even last spring, and while I'm sure they'd rather have done this during the low-traffic period of May-Aug, there really is only so much they can do at once.  I'm so tired of the in-street signs at that crossing falling over into traffic lanes that this will be a welcome repair.  

The automatic flashing lights were a good idea on the surface, except that in reality, every pedestrian passing along seemed to trigger the lights, regardless of their intent to cross the street.  And then it became popular for pedestrians to just stand there, waiting for a pickup from their ride, and you never could tell if they were trying to cross or not.  It's been a very frustrating stretch of road and I really hope the new improvements help things!

gftst wrote on September 03, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I think this is ridiculous, Springfield is a main street that goes all the way across both cities and this is at least the third time in the last 6 or 9 months that a stretch has been closed in this area between Race St and Wright St now. These could have been grouped together into one closing only affecting people for one period of time instead of several.