Designs for Curtis Road overpass chosen

By Eric Heisig

Potential designs for the interchange at the intersection of Curtis Road and Interstate 57 were chosen by the Champaign City Council during a study session Tuesday night. One proposed design was a University style, while the other was prairie style.

The University style is designed to be like the architectural elements found around Campustown, along with some aspects of Georgian architectural style. In addition, the pillars on the interchange will have the University’s “I” logo, to alert drivers that the University is located a few miles off the highway.

“It will let them know they are somewhere, and what is located in the city of Champaign,” said T.J. Blakeman, Champaign city planner.

At-Large Council member Tom Bruno said the potential “I” would act as a good marketing tool for visitors, even though people would like to be proud of Champaign itself.

“It is a matter of local city pride,” Bruno said. “But we already know how wonderful Champaign is.”

Some members of the Council expressed an interest in displaying both the “I” and the city of Champaign’s logo side by side. During the session, however, Blakeman said the Illinois Department of Transportation would not provide funding for the project if Champaign’s logo was displayed, which the city is relying on as the main source for this project’s funding.

The Curtis Road designs are part of a larger beautification project Champaign has undertaken for the coming years. Blakeman said that soon enough all of the interchanges will be redesigned.

Other topics discussed:

The Council unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday opposing potential changes in the Amtrak Service between Champaign and Chicago.

The Council unanimously approved a development plan for large apartment complexes at 309 and 311 E. Green St.

Champaign City Council meets Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. at 102 N. Neil St.