City plans to transform landfill site into park

By Eric Heisig

The city of Champaign plans to recycle a former landfill site to develop a multi-use park, which will include a Bicycle Motocross track and a Frisbee golf course.

In a joint session with the Champaign Park District Board Wednesday night, the Champaign City Council discussed the future of the former Champaign Municipal Landfill. The city plans to use the 90-acre site, located on the north side of Bloomington Road near the border between Champaign and Mahomet, as a recreational facility for area residents.

The site is currently used by a radio controlled airplane group to fly their models, and the new plan will include space for an airplane field. However, it is the BMX course that is expected to bring the most interest in from other communities.

“I have gotten a large amount of e-mails from BMXers,” said Mishauno Woggon, city planner. “These sites attract people. They like to travel.”

Currently, the project is slated to cost more than $11 million, said Steve Konters of Hitchcock Design Group, the firm helping to plan the site.

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“The prices are somewhat inflated because of the landfill and its cap,” Konters said, explaining why it would cost more to build on the landfill site than on a regular piece of land.

The landfill site has at least two feet of topsoil over the trash it holds, said Eleanor Blackmon, assistant city engineer.

Construction will not begin immediately, but the site is slated to be completed in the next five to 10 years, said Terri Gibble, project planner for the park district.