Federal Grant Will Expand Major Routes In U of I Campustown Area
Leaders from Champaign, Urbana, and University of Illinois say major streets around campus will be upgraded to accommodate the area’s growing population.
A nearly $16-million federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant awarded last fall aims to better accommodate pedestrians, cars, buses, and bike lanes - and help vehicle flow in five key urban areas.
They include portions of White and Wright Streets, Armory Avenue, and two sections of Green Street between the two downtown areas.
Champaign City Engineer Dave Clark said the goal is provide motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians safe spots to travel in.
But he said that will require almost year-round street construction from late 2016 into early 2019.
“There will be lane closures, there will be street closures as the contractor works to re-build these streets," Clark said. "We’re still working through the details – exactly what that means and how we’re going to phase it all together. And it will be staged – not every place will be torn up all at the same time.”
The grant for MCORE, or Multimodal Corridor Enhancement project, is matched by $19-million dollars from the two cites, U of I, and Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on proposed designs for the street work. The first project open house is scheduled for May 5th at the U of I's Illini Union.