Construction diverts pedestrians

By John Ostrowski

The construction on the corner of Green and Fifth streets, which started April 18 and is expected to be completed by April 30, has clogged traffic on Green Street and diverted pedestrians, causing some students to question why construction could not wait until after the semester ends.

The construction has caused part of the sidewalk on Green Street, in front of a new Potbelly Sandwich Works and Starbucks, to be closed off. A pedestrian walkway has been set up on Green Street, forcing part of the eastbound lane to be shut down.

The construction is being performed now to avoid conflicts between future projects, said Joe Winborn, an engineering technician with the city of Champaign Public Works Department.

“We would rather do it when the students are not here,” Winborn said, but that there is another project scheduled to begin after the semester is over. A new Illini Media building being constructed at 512 Green St. is expected to shut down part of Green Street, and the city did not wish to have conflicting projects occurring simultaneously, he said.

The construction is expected to be finished Saturday, Winborn said.

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    Andres Ramirez, a junior in engineering who walks down Green Street three or four times a week, wondered why the construction was going on now, but was not overly bothered by it.

    During the semester is not a good time for the construction, Ramirez said. “It’s annoying that I have to go into the street, but it’s not a big deal.”

    Jacob Luketin, sophomore in LAS, agreed with that sentiment.

    It’s annoying, he said, but really “doesn’t bother me.”

    So far, Winborn said, no complaints had been received about the construction on Green Street.

    “It seems to be working well,” he said.