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Upcoming Road Construction in Champaign

As summer approaches, we can expect to see more road-construction projects. Recently, The News-Gazette spoke to Ken Crawford, who is the project implementation engineer with the Illinois Department of Transportation District 5, about the bigger construction projects in the area. Crawford mentioned 5 different projects throughout Champaign County, which included:

Prospect Avenue Bridge: On June 1, IDOT will be doing maintenance on the Prospect Avenue bridge above Interstate 74. The maintenance, which will include re-decking and fixing potholes, will cost $1.4 million and will hopefully be completed by the end of October.

Bloomington Road: The sidewalk ramps between Mattis and Prospect avenues will be upgraded to adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act. This will include improving traffic signals and patching the road. This project will hopefully be completed by the middle of June 2019.

I-74 from Ogden to Fithian: Construction on I-74 from Ogden to Fithian will begin in Mid May, and according to Crawford, it will include patching, milling, and overlay. There will be time restrictions on when work can be done, prohibiting work during morning hours and in the evenings when traffic is higher.

Bradley Avenue bridge: The Bradley Avenue bridge is currently being replaced, and this project will be completed sometime in November 2019. The bridge may be closed at times, but only during evening hours.

University Avenue in Urbana: This project was set to begin in April, but has yet to start due to purchasing rights not being completed yet. This is a major project that will be rebuilding University Avenue from Wright Street to Cunningham Avenue, and it may take a couple of years.

I-57/I-74 Interchange: In August, the first steps of a massive rebuild of this interchange will begin. This year, Mattis Avenue over 1-74, Mattis Avenue over 1-57, and Bloomington Road up to I-57 will be lengthened to match the footprint of the new interchange. The work of the interchange itself will not start until 2021.

While you want to always be alert while driving, it is especially important while driving in a construction zone. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 4,400 people have died in work-zone related crashes, and more than 200,000 people were injured. Drivers must pay attention to road signs, construction workers on the side of the road, and the road’s surface. Failure to do so can have tragic results. The following are some strategies to ensure greater work zone safety:

  • Slow down. Always pay attention to the speed limit, and do not be intimidated by other drivers encouraging you to drive above the speed limit.
  • Don’t tailgate. Double the following distance to allow for more time to safely react.
  • Stay a safe distance away from workers and their equipment. 
  • Watch for stopped traffic. 
  • Merge as soon as possible. Waiting until the last minute to merge into another lane impairs the flow of traffic and can cause accidents.
  • Do not block traffic. This is a traffic violation in most states and encourages aggressive driving in other drivers.

When drivers fail to drive cautiously while in work zones, everyone on the road is put in danger. If you or a loved one has been subjected to injuries from a careless driver in a work zone, you may be entitled to compensation. The auto accident attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. have the compassion and skill to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact us at (217) 328-2828 to speak about your unique situation today.