By Katherine Collins - Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
A $1.3 million project to upgrade a stretch of road on one of the major arteries in Champaign County should improve safety for pedestrians and prevent flooding, Urbana city leaders said.
A contractor has been chosen to fill in sidewalk gaps, add streetlights, a crosswalk, storm drains, gutters and curbs on U.S. 36 East between Berwick Drive and South Dugan Road. The project will be funded with grant money from state and federal agencies, Urbana City Engineer Tyler Bumbalough said, as well as matching funds from the city and Urbana Twp.
The road is the main east-west highway in Champaign County and gets a lot of commercial traffic, he said, with at least 10,000 cars passing through each day.
“The speed limits are 35 out there and it is quick and it’s busy,” Bumbalough said.
The stretch of road to be addressed has both the Champaign Family YMCA and Champaign County Public Library, he said — two locations people often want to walk to.
Dirt trails have been worn along the road where people have frequently walked.
“Pedestrians, I do see them crossing once in a while and they’re risking their lives doing so,” Bumbalough said.
“We want to make it more walkable and safer for them.”
The YMCA has taken safety precautions because of the lack of sidewalks, Champaign Family YMCA CEO Paul Waldsmith said.
“We don’t have children enrolled in programs walking out onto 36 at this point in time,” he said.
[Read the full article at SpringfieldNewsSun.com]