CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Bradley Avenue bridge will be opening tomorrow. That project started back in March.
Since then, Bradley Avenue between Duncan and Staley has been blocked off. It was supposed to be done a month ago, but IDOT representatives say the wait will be worth it.
IDOT crews say the weather played a role, but there were also some utility and scheduling issues too. However, they say drivers will be happy with the finished product.
“Just adds some extra time, and it’s kindof a pain,” said Logan Musgrove, who lives near the bridge.
That’s the complaint you’ll hear from just about anyone living near the bridge.
“Trying to get to let’s say North Prospect, my parent’s house, pretty much anywhere on that side of town, it’s a lot more difficult,” said Musgrove.
But it won’t be the case for much longer. The $5 million improvement is opening up to vehicle traffic.
Crews are still working on a protective coating. After that, they’ll start striping, but their finish date was not part of the original plan.
“It was supposed to be completed by November 15,” said Resident Engineer for the Bradley bridge project Joseph Grazziano.
Weather and scheduling challenges pushed the date back. IDOT representatives say the wait will pay off because the finished product is going to make the road much safer.
“It’s gonna be much better than the roadway that was here previously because it was very narrow. There were even “Narrow Bridge” signs up, and now you have a much wider room, you have an 11-foot lane. You also have a 4 1/2-foot bike lane, so bikers have their own lane, so that’s a lot wider. It’s a lot safer. And there’s also 6-foot sidewalks now for anybody walking,” said Grazziano.
Between safety improvements and a shorter commute, drivers are ready for the changes.
“I’ve been having to drive around the whole block every time so it’s made it like 20 minutes, like a 20 minutes drive to campus now, so hopefully when this opens up I’ll be able to get to campus real quick,” said student Ayinde Rochon.
All bike lanes will open tomorrow afternoon along with the road, but the south sidewalk has some spots that might not be done until spring. The north side of the sidewalk is already done. That bridge was the centerpiece of a viral video a couple of months ago.
29-year-old Ashia Marshall was arrested for driving over the unfinished bridge in September. Her blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit. She was back in court again this week for a hit-and-run. Police say she and her passenger got into a fight and they stepped out of the car. They say Marshall then ran over the passenger and drove off. Both of her charges are for aggravated DUI.