URBANA — The ever-controversial saga of the Olympian Drive extension eastward may have closed another chapter on Monday night.
On the advice of the Champaign County Board, the Urbana City Council agreed to drop its proposal to build a roundabout where Olympian Drive will intersect Lincoln Avenue north of the city. But council members weren't too enthusiastic about it.
"I have a sense that the Urbana City Council is a little more progressive than the county," said Alderman Dennis Roberts, D-Ward 5. "And maybe they'll catch up."
The proposed roundabout has been the latest Olympian Drive-related disagreement among Champaign County politicians. The debate pitted the city, which has authority over the design of the road, against the county board, which holds the eminent-domain power to allow the project to move forward.
In May, the county board approved a resolution suggesting the city not build the roundabout. On Monday, the city council agreed to send a letter back to the county board announcing Urbana's intent to drop its roundabout proposal.
That didn't stop them from telling everyone else how they really feel.
"The county board's position is not correct," said Alderman Eric Jakobsson, D-Ward 2. "I think that all the evidence is that a roundabout there would be safer, would be more efficient in terms of moving traffic."
Jakobsson made one suggestion: That before Mayor Laurel Prussing sends the letter, she change one line that "the Urbana City Council agreed with the resolution's advice."
"I'm trying to think of language that will say we don't agree with it, but we'll accept it or whatever," Jakobsson said.
Prussing said officials need to start procuring the land to build the road.
"I don't want to hold up the entire project because we had a disagreement with the county board on the value of roundabouts," Prussing said.