WEB back-to-school traffic

Motorists travel on Prospect Avenue near the Interstate 74 bridge in late May 2019, when a sign warned of impending construction. By the start of school in August, the work had been reduced to one lane in each direction.

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CHAMPAIGN — The school year is gearing up, and the city of Champaign wants drivers new and old to watch out for construction-related detours.

A record number of public and private construction projects are underway on and off campus as classes resume.

Drivers should use caution in construction areas, be prepared for delays and watch for signs indicating detour routes, public works spokesman Kris Koester said in a release Thursday.

Champaign schools start Thursday, Parkland College classes begin Monday, and University of Illinois residence halls open Sunday. The UI’s official move-in days are Tuesday (for students in living and learning communities) and Aug. 22 (for all others).

Those heading to shopping areas north of Interstate 74 may want to consider alternate routes, Koester said.

Prospect Avenue is down to one lane in each direction at the I-74 overpass through November. Market Street is also closed until Aug. 20 and will then be a one-lane road at Bellefontaine Street through September.

Drivers are advised to use Mattis Avenue or Neil Street when approaching the North Prospect shopping area from the south, or Olympian Drive or I-57 when approaching from the north, Koester said.

A map of current City construction projects can be viewed at champaignil.gov/maps.

Reporter/Columnist

Julie Wurth is a reporter covering the University of Illinois at The News-Gazette. Her email is jwurth@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@jawurth).