Urbana plans to expand, modernize Windsor road

By Jonathan Jacobson

Windsor Road will be undergoing heavy renovations starting in 2009 that the city of Urbana says will be over by spring 2010.

“This project has been long coming for Urbana,” said Bill Gray, public works director for the city.

Windsor Road, which is currently a 2-lane rural road, will be converted into a 4-lane roadway after about a year and a half of construction between Philo and High Cross Roads.

The expansion will cost about $7.25 million dollars, half of which will be provided from federal funds. The city and the county will split the rest.

Gray and Thomas Overmyer of Foth and Van Dyke/Daily Division, a Champaign construction company, showed council members and citizens large satellite images and gave detailed explanations about the project, fielding questions from anyone willing to ask.

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The city expects heavy traffic in the coming years on Windsor Road, and feels that it is time to modernize it. A Wal-Mart Supercenter, which opened last month at the intersection of Illinois 130 and U.S. 150, has already caused congestion on the road.

“This is a major east-west arteriole street,” Gray said. “By 2028, the average volume on the road will be 16,000 cars per day.”

There will be traffic signals installed at the intersections of Myra Ridge Drive and Windsor Road and Philo and Windsor roads. A signal at Illinois 130 and Windsor Road will be renovated. Council Member Charlie Smyth (Ward 1) was concerned, however, that the intersection of Race Street and Windsor Road does not have a stoplight.

Some are concerned with the traffic problems that the construction will cause, but Overmyer said it would not be a problem.

“We intend to keep the two lanes in the center open to traffic,” Overmyer said.

People who live near or on Windsor Road are worried that they will be bothered by the noise and dust that will accompany the construction, a problem Gray addressed at the meeting.

“We will try to minimize problems (for those near the construction) during the project,” Gray said.