Champaign considers bike lanes for Windsor Road at I-57

Champaign considers bike lanes for Windsor Road at I-57

CHAMPAIGN — City officials are seeking grant money to add bike lanes and sidewalks on Windsor Road that will match a state project to revamp the bridge that carries the road over Interstate 57.

The city's expansion west of the interstate has made Windsor Road a key traffic corridor, but according to city documents, a narrow road lacking bike lanes and sidewalks has left the bridge and the approaches on either side of it unsafe.

The city council could officially start the upgrade process if it approves a $414,418 contract with Sodemann and Associates, a consultant that would design the new road, when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

Officials have been anticipating the Windsor Road project for months, and a 4-cent-per-gallon gas tax that drivers started paying in May will cover the contract. They have applied to the state for grant money that would help pay for the cost of construction.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is responsible for the Windsor Road bridge itself, and the state already plans to rebuild the overpass. The project is expected to begin next April and likely last until November.

The state plans to replace the bridge with a wider structure that would include wider shoulders to accommodate bike paths and sidewalks, according to a city memo. The cost of the overpass project is estimated to be $2.74 million.

The city is responsible for the roadway on either side of the overpass, and officials hope they can build the Windsor Road upgrades at the same time the state is working on the bridge. The city's plan to add bike lanes and sidewalks is expected to cost $2.2 million. About 80 percent of that is eligible for grant money, which would leave the city on the hook for about $460,000.

In other business, the city council could approve the appointment of the Rev. Larry Lewis to the board of commissioners for the Housing Authority of Champaign County. Area governments each send representatives to the countywide housing authority board, and Lewis would replace current chairman Al Anderson, whose term ended at the end of July.

Lewis would be stepping into a debate about the city's plan to level and redevelop the Bristol Place neighborhood. The housing authority has spent the past weeks grappling with a decision over whether to give displaced Bristol Place residents a higher priority in the distribution of Section 8 vouchers.

The vouchers, worth an estimated $1 million in rental assistance, are among a limited number that are available throughout Champaign County.

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welive wrote on September 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

agreed there need to be a sidewalk or something for people to cross over 57 on windsor.Here a idea.why not make a pact with the country club to let bikes and people use their underground access under 57 and then make it connect to windsor? I use this route almost everyday.Would be a great way for the cc to get extra $ and the city to save $

Just saying



retired-n-working wrote on September 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Do they intend to add another "Lane - Bike"

Unless you have seen what I am refereing to, maybe pay attendion to some of the painted signs on the roads.

yeahokay wrote on September 18, 2012 at 7:09 am

Are Windsor Road bike lanes high on the "$60 million dollar backlog" of road projects that the $0.04 gas tax was created to fund?

There are roads in this community that are in desperate need of work, how about we take care of what we already have before we go and start adding auxilliary lanes to the roads that haven't fallen apart already!

doglips wrote on October 14, 2012 at 9:10 am

Welive, I'm sorry, but that is not a good idea. First, allowing the public on a golf course is very dangerous, with hard objects flying at speeds in excess of 100 mph (and the bicyclists and pedestrians are likely not to be aware of, or looking for, that hazard). Second, they would also have to travel through a parking lot with one-way lanes. Persons unfamiliar with this may pose additional hazards to themselves and others. Third, since it's private property, is the country club's liability insurer going to allow it?  (extremely unlikely)