Weekend events might create traffic headache
Corvette show, music festival will close sections of roads for several days
CHAMPAIGN — Some streets around State Farm Center will close to traffic, beginning Wednesday, to accommodate this weekend's Bloomington Gold Corvette Show.
And if you're planning to get around town this weekend, you may want to avoid downtown Champaign altogether due to road closings there related to Bloomington Gold and the Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival.
According to the Champaign Public Works Department, St. Mary's Road between First and Fourth streets (on the south side of State Farm Center) will close at 1 p.m. Wednesday and remain closed through Sunday.
Meanwhile, First Street between Kirby Avenue and St. Mary's Road (on the west side of State Farm Center) will close from 1 to 6 p.m. today.
On the east side of State Farm Center, Fourth Street between Kirby and St. Mary's closed at 1 p.m. Tuesday and won't reopen until 11 p.m. Sunday.
Two more stretches of road will close for much of the morning and afternoon Thursday through Sunday. They include:
— First Street between St. Mary's Road and Irwin Drive, which runs on the north side of Memorial Stadium.
— Kirby Avenue between Oak Street and Fourth Street (on the north side of State Farm Center).
Both stretches will close from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday; 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Motorists who usually rely on Kirby Avenue being open may want to use Windsor Road, Springfield Avenue or Green Street instead for their east-west trips.
Some streets and parking lots in downtown Champaign will begin shutting down to traffic Thursday.
The first to close will be the city parking lot at Washington and Walnut streets, which will close from 3 a.m. Thursday through 5 a.m. Monday.
Sections of three nearby streets will close at 6 a.m. Friday and remain closed through 5 p.m. Sunday. Those include:
— Walnut Street between Washington and Main streets.
— Washington Street between Neil and Walnut streets.
— Fremont Street north of The News-Gazette to Washington Street.
Watch for more streets in the downtown area to close at 4 p.m. Saturday and remain closed until 2 p.m. Sunday to allow the Bloomington Gold Corvette Show to display its cars. Streets scheduled to close include:
— Neil Street between Hill Street and University Avenue.
— Church Street between Randolph and Neil streets.
— Main Street between Neil and Chestnut streets.
— Chestnut Street between Main Street and University Avenue.
— Park Street between Randolph and Neil streets.
— Walnut Street between Main and Chester streets and between University Avenue and Logan Street.
— Chester Street between Neil and Market streets.
— Market Street between Main Street and University Avenue.
— The city parking lot at Neil and Washington streets.
— The city parking lot at Main and Market streets.
— The Busey Bank parking lots near Randolph Street and University Avenue.
— The private parking lot north of Park Street and east of Randolph Street.
— The Christie Clinic parking lots at the main building at Randolph Street and University Avenue and the additional parking lot at Logan and Market streets.
University Avenue will remain open only for bus traffic during those hours.
Motorists who usually rely on Neil and Walnut streets for their north-south trips through downtown may want to use State and Randolph streets instead. Drivers who usually rely on University Avenue for east-west trips through downtown may want to divert to Green Street or Bradley Avenue instead.
The Public Works Department cautions motorists to expect temporary delays at various intersections Saturday evening during the GoldTour procession of Corvettes from Champaign to Monticello and back.
That procession is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., with intersections being manned by the Champaign and University of Illinois police departments. Traffic will be allowed across the parade route at times when the flow of Corvettes ebbs.
Those wanting to park downtown for Saturday evening's festivities are encouraged to use the municipal parking deck at Hill and Randolph streets as well as on-street parking on the west and south sides of downtown.
There will be no charge for using the parking deck between 9 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Monday, according to Kris Koester of the Champaign Public Works Department.