Update on Windsor, other municipal construction projects

Update on Windsor, other municipal construction projects

Windsor Road is a little bit like whack-a-mole this week — one end in Champaign is about to open up, and another in Urbana is about to close.

While workers put the finishing touches on the Windsor Road bridge over Interstate 57 (expected to reopen as early as Friday), the city of Urbana has signed a $4 million contract to rebuild the road between Race Street and Philo Road. That's being done with a combination of federal highway money and local gas taxes.

Windsor Road work in Urbana starts Monday and is expected to take about 18 months to complete. Its four lanes will be reduced to two while the work is ongoing, and officials hope to have the first half done before the winter freeze sets in again. If they didn't, commuters on Windsor Road would have to face another brutal pothole season.

But that's not the only work going on in Champaign-Urbana. Here's a look at some of the big-ticket construction projects either in progress or on deck:

Green Street

Budget: $6 million.

Where: Between First and Fourth streets, in Champaign.

When: 2016.

What: This project is still a ways off, but city officials are already well into designing a new Green Street on the western part of Campustown. It will include new pavement, bike lanes, wider sidewalks, trees and streetscape elements — kind of like Green Street east of Fourth Street.

City officials want to redo the area between Neil and First streets, too, but that section did not fit the project budget. Design work is expected to be completed next year with construction beginning in 2016.

West Urbana

Budget: $1.8 million.

Where: Washington, Race, Illinois, Iowa streets and Broadway, Busey and Coler avenues.

When: In progress.

What: City officials are using a combination of state and local gas taxes to resurface a total of 1.82 miles of streets in Urbana. The work is already under way (Race and Washington streets were scheduled to reopen Wednesday), and the entire project is expected to be done by October.

West Washington Street drainage

Budget: $4.6 million.

Where: On Washington Street, near Russell Street, in Champaign.

When: In progress.

What: City officials continue to work on a new storm water basin that is intended to increase drainage capacity in the wet neighborhoods near West Washington Street. The new basin will include a walking path and gazebo. It will have capacity for about 3.6 million gallons of water in heavy rainstorms and is expected to be completed by November.

That's actually not enough — residents are waiting for the second phase of the project, which involves digging two more detention basins near Glenn Park Drive, just off Mattis Avenue. Design work is included in this budget, but there's no money yet for construction.

Lake of the Woods Bridge Road

Two major bridges in Champaign County reopen to traffic tomorrow Friday after being under construction.

One is the Lake of the Woods Road Bridge over Interstate 74 in Mahomet which has been closed for around a year for a more than $4 millionreconstruction project.  Officials will gather to re-open the roadway at 10 a.m. Friday.

Mahomet Village President Patrick Brown said the project wasn't even supposed to happen this early.

Brown admitted, though, that the bridge opening is too little too late for three businesses near the structure which are now closed.  He said while bridge construction was going on, customers didn't have quick and direct roadway access to the buildings, and that contributed to those businesses shutting their doors.

-Tim Ditman

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LocalTownie wrote on August 14, 2014 at 8:08 am

Patrick, can you tell us what the state is doing with I-74 just West of Champaign? I'm sure it's been reported already but I've missed it. Seems like no one I talk to has a clue what all of that is. Thanks!

Robert DeAtley wrote on August 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm

They are adding cable median barriers in the medians.