CHAMPAIGN — Construction started Monday on the $44 million MCORE project. So far, one block of Green Street is blocked off, between Locust and First, but plenty more work is on the way. This is already causing some issues for drivers. We’ve seen people cutting through the parking lot already. City workers put detour signs up. They hope people learn to adjust, but these businesses are still open, so cutting through parking lots could get dicey.
Crews plan to work a block at a time. After graduation in May, they’ll ramp up their efforts. As the project moves on, we’ll see other roads and sidewalks closed as crews work. There will be signs to let people know what to expect and help them find detours. Some people we talked with say it’s not that big of a deal because they can walk around, but others say it’s already a hassle.
“It kind of sucks because the bus doesn’t even come all the way down to Second,” said Cristobal Grana, who is a junior at the University of Illinois and lives nearby. “It just stops at fourth. So I have to go all the way to Fourth to catch the bus so it’s going to take longer to get to class now.”
A few CUMTD bus routes have been re-routed. To find out more about that, click here. For the time being, project leaders are asking people to take it slow – whether you’re walking, on two wheels or four – and keep an eye out for everyone else.
You’ll be seeing orange barrels around the University of Illinois campus for the next four or five years at least, so this is just the beginning. The MCORE project will add a lot to the campus area. That includes street improvements, a transit boarding island on green street, reconfigured illini union parking, all-way pedestrian crossings and protected bike lanes.