URBANA, Ill. (WCIA)– Every year hundreds of U of I students pack the sidewalks for this event, Quad Day. It reminds them Summer is over and a new school year is right around the corner. “Opportunity for registered student organizations to come out, display their clubs, connect with the freshman,” said Quad Day Coordinator Dementro Powell. This year was unlike years before. Portions of Wright Street were blocked off. Wright Street borders the Quad. All the extra construction required some careful planning and tough decision making. “It was a streesor at first. I didn’t know how this was gonna work out,” said Powell, “The only thing that we had to kind of change is the direction of where people had to come in and enter through for Quad Day to set up.”
“We kind of had to plan way more ahead than we have the previous years,” said Stephanie Maurer, a student at the university. There is a pay off. Construction on Wright will create new water mains, wider travel lanes, new bus stops, better sidewalks, designated bike paths, and new lighting. Until that work is done, drivers will have to navigate around it. “They have to reroute how they get here not knowing that portions of the street are shut down and that sort of thing, so it can be a little frustrating,”said Williams.
However, people on foot say they’re getting around just fine. “They’re just doing a lot of walking, so it’s a lot of foot traffic. So Quad Day foot traffic as always very hectic,” said Mackenzie Bach, a student at University of Illinois. Construction on parts of Wright Street is expected to be done in December. Next Spring there will be more work done on Wright north of Green Street. However, students and staff say they’re not letting a few stops in the road block them from starting a new school year off right. “I thought that was going to be a disruption to their order, but it turned out great,” said Powell. Champaign Public Works does want to advise people to pay attention to signs for road closures and detours while construction is happening.