From AP - News Headlines -

Curtis Road Now Open from I-57 to US Route 45

The Curtis Road - I-57 Interchange opened more than two years ago, and now motorists can use it to travel to and from Champaign-Urbana.

Louis Braghini has been the project engineer for the city of Champaign, which acted as the lead agent this phase of the Curtis Road improvements. He said a former two-lane oil-and-chip pavement is now a four-lane highway, with concrete cross-sections, street lights, traffic signals at the Prospect and Mattis Avenue intersections, plus landscaping.

Savoy Village Administrator Dick Helten said the route will bring new traffic to businesses in his town, both the existing ones along Route 45, and the ones he expects to locate along the new improved Curtis Road.

"I think the numbers will jump up dramatically over the next few weeks," said Helten. "And those businesses, future businesses, are going to see an incredible opportunity for their businesses to thrive."

Development right around the Curtis Road interchange will be in the city of Champaign. The first development is to be anchored by a new Christie Clinic. Champaign Planning Director Bruce Knight said the Research Park and sporting events at the University of Illinois campus will also benefit.

The next phase of Curtis Road improvements is set to continue east, past Route 45, including a viaduct at the Canadian National tracks. The village of Savoy will take the lead for that project, but Helten said that project does not yet have funding or a scheduled start date.