URBANA — The first phase of MCORE work in front of the Illini Union at the University of Illinois has started. The $44 million project will take years to finish. This week, there’s a lot of action along Green Street. Traffic through there was moving pretty smoothly. That’s probably thanks in part to the fact that most people aren’t on campus this week because it’s spring break.
Workers are keeping busy on the south side of Green Street, which is closest to the union. They’re working on the land right in front of the building, as well as the road next to it. Part of that includes putting a new water main underground. They started about a week and a half ago. Workers say having the students off for the week makes it a lot easier for them.
“No offense to them, but it’s just something else you’ve got to watch out for because they don’t usually watch out for themselves, unfortunately,” said Jim Swisher, who is a labor foreman for Duce Construction.
Traffic is still able to go through green street, both east and west. Cars can use a lane each on the north side of the road. Buses are also making their rounds, but taking different stops than usual, since they can’t stop at their regular area. Workers say sometimes students and other people stop to take pictures of what they’re doing, but most just keep going. They still have work to do there and at other parts along Green Street for this project.
The MCORE project is redesigning roads around campus town to make them more accessible. That will be for buses, bike riders, drivers and pedestrians. Detours are posted in the area to help you get around closed or blocked off roads. It’s expected to wrap up around 2020 or 2021.