SPRINGFIELD — The city of Champaign has received a $1.7 million grant to complete a two-phase project to improve the Windsor Road bridge over Interstate 57.
When completed in 2014, the Windsor Road corridor between Duncan and Staley roads will have a widened overpass with bike lanes and sidewalks, and improved approaches on both the east and west sides of the overpass.
The grant awarded to the city this week by the Illinois Department of Transportation will help pay for the project's second phase, to be undertaken in 2014, that includes land acquisition, utility relocation and construction of sidewalks and bike lanes leading to the new overpass. The improvements are from Eagle Ridge Road on the west to Briar Hill Drive on the east.
The city used funds from its local 4 cents per gallon gas tax, approved last year, to provide the local match for the state grant.
In its request for the grant, the city included letters of support from federal and state legislators, the Stephens Family YMCA, the Prairie Cycle Club, the Trails at Chestnut Grove Homeowners Association, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District and regional planning commission.
A third phase of the project, which depends on future grant funding, calls for extending bike lanes and sidewalks to Staley Road.
Construction of the new Windsor Road overpass is scheduled for this summer. IDOT plans to keep the bridge open through the year, said Champaign City Engineer Roland White, with only one lane open.
"We are very pleased and grateful for the grant. It will enable us to fix this longstanding safety problem," White said.
Eventually, the city hopes to make pedestrian-safe improvements on Kirby Avenue over I-57, Bradley Avenue over I-57 and Staley Road over I-72, he said.