Urbana council to decide on seeking state money for Windsor Road

Urbana council to decide on seeking state money for Windsor Road

URBANA — While actual repairs may still be a long way off, the state will come through with money to help redesign crumbling Windsor Road.

The major route through Urbana continues to break apart while officials say they do not have the $6 million they might need to fix the street. But $250,000 from the Illinois Department of Transportation for a preliminary engineering study could pave the way for more financial help down the road.

Urbana City Council members will meet as the committee of the whole at 7 p.m. Monday in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St., to discuss the project. They'll need to sign off before the city accepts the state money, which covers the entire cost of the engineering study.

The engineering work would focus on a 1.1-mile stretch of Windsor Road between Race Street and Philo Road. A chemical reaction is causing the particles in the pavement to literally break apart, and it's only going to get worse until the road is overhauled.

"That section's falling apart on us," said city engineer Craig Shonkwiler. "What we were able to do was secure some funds through IDOT to further study the road, determine an exact cost to either reconstruct it or rehab the road."

City officials are putting the rough estimate for fixing Windsor Road at $6 million. They do not have that money now, but Shonkwiler said an engineering design could give them grounds to seek more money from the state through grants or in a capital bill in the future.

That could be a while off, but the preliminary engineering work is the first step.

Officials will consider various options for rebuilding the road and take another look at the street and lane widths. Shonkwiler said the work will also consider options for traffic signals along the route and pedestrian safety improvements at intersections near Meadowbrook Park.

"It's the first step toward hopefully fixing this road," Shonkwiler said.

Meanwhile, the alkali silica reaction in the concrete continues to tear at the pavement. The chemical reaction is not very common in Illinois, but there are some examples of it in Champaign and on Interstate 39 north of Normal.

"The particles are debonding, and it gets compounded with water intrusion, and then we have freeze-thaw," Shonkwiler said. "We're just trying to Band-Aid it right now to keep it functional."

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Lostinspace wrote on December 07, 2013 at 9:12 am

When was it last paved?

Sid Saltfork wrote on December 07, 2013 at 10:12 am

What about the roundabout at the corner of Windsor, and Race?  The state has freed up money now by stealing it's retirees money.  Might as well bail out Urbana again with another state grant.  With all of the state grants that Urbana has successfully begged from the state, the town should be named Stateville.  When will Urbana pay for it's own without expecting the rest of the state to pay for it instead?

Lostinspace wrote on December 07, 2013 at 12:12 pm

"The state has freed up money now"

Tsk, tsk! You should know better.  They have to extend the tax hike.

Sid Saltfork wrote on December 08, 2013 at 8:12 am

I get confused.  I thought that the tax hike money was going to ADM, and the others on the list.  These tax breaks, and state grants add up.  I was forgetting the need for BUILD ILLINOIS 2 that the governor talks about.  I thought the state lottery was paying for education.  It is confusing.  Your right.  The tax hike will have to stay, or maybe increased.