Streets to close, buses redirected for water plan

By Eric Heisig

Street closures around the University are already underway, with more to follow in the coming months.

As early as next week, the stretch of Sixth Street from Armory to Daniel streets will be closed in order for the University’s Facilities & Services to work on the Chilled Water Extension Plan. The plan will install pipes underground in order to bring chilled water to buildings on campus.

“Chilled water is the way buildings are being air conditioned,” said Nick Stanev, project manager.

Morgan Johnston, transportation coordinator for the University, said the Sixth Street work will begin as soon as the construction currently being done on Chalmers Street is completed and open.

The project is divided up into four phases. The project is currently in Phase 1. According to a press release, the second phase will include closures on Sixth Street, Phase 3 will involve closures on the corner of Armory Avenue and Sixth Street and Phase 4 will affect traffic in the westbound lane of Armory Avenue.

The project is tentatively scheduled to be completed in April, Stanev said.

“The contractors have accepted an accelerated schedule,” Stanev said.

However, Stanev said the schedule is tentative, and it does not take into account unforeseen setbacks, such as unworkable weather.

Johnston said Sixth Street will be open by the time work begins on Armory Avenue.

While the work is done on Sixth Street, the road and both sides of the sidewalk will be closed between Chalmers Street and Armory Avenue. The stretch of street from Daniel to Chalmers streets will have the sidewalk open, but no thru traffic will be allowed, Johnston said.

The Chilled Water Extension Plan is designed to bring central air conditioning to the new Newman Center, Lincoln Hall and the English Building.

The construction being done for the Chilled Water Extension Plan is separate from the construction for the Newman Center, which also has lane and sidewalk closures.

Johnston said some of the Champaign’s Mass Transit District’s routes which use the streets under construction will be rerouted as needed.

The project is mainly run by the University, but the city of Champaign does have some involvement in order to get some of their outlying projects accomplished.

“It is first and foremost a University project, but there is a small diameter of an old sanitary sewer mane that runs through Sixth Street,” said Harman Jordan, right-of-way inspector for the city of Champaign.