Champaign city leaders tour public works progress

CHAMPAIGN—Millions of dollars are being spent on infrastructure improvements in Champaign, and Tuesday, city leaders got a sneak peak at how they are progressing.

All aboard the city's 2014 Capital Improvement Plan Project tour.

“We get on a bus and take council and everyone else through the different projects related to drainage, transportation and complete street projects and development related projects,” said city engineer, Dave Clark.

 One of the first stops was Green Street, between Fourth and First Streets, where $6 million will go to reconstructing the roadway and streetscape once a design is completed this fall. But city council members are already anticipating the economic impact the changes will have.

“Where we have good streets and good roads, typically we have good buildings. And we attract people, investors, developers,” said council member Will Kyles.

 But what attracted city officials off the bus were the $4.6 million dollars of drainage improvements coming to West Washington Street.  

“From a flooding standpoint, that's definitely been a big deal,” said Kyles.

“Where there used to be homes that flooded, now there's a large basin that captures that storm water runoff,” said Clark.

And that's just the first phase. Phase two will bring two more basins down the road along Glenn Park Drive.

The tour then made its final stop on Windsor Road, where work is winding down on the approaches to the bridge over I-57 that I-DOT rebuilt last year.

“We widened Windsor for bike lanes, and we added sidewalks and nice LED streetlights,” said Clark.

Construction is expected to be complete by the end of the week and comes at a cost of a little more than $800,000, bringing the total cost of the improvements on the tour to more than $14 million. Council members say it's money well spent.

“We're continuing to build and continuing to grow, and we're building the infrastructure that will support those businesses in the future,” said Kyles.

 A future that's being constructed across the city.

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