Boneyard Creek plan hits 2nd phase

The second phase of Champaign’s Boneyard Creek master plan could be completed in December 2010, which would install storm sewers under several streets in Champaign, said Chris Sokolowski, civil engineer at the Champaign Public Works Department. He said this means that pipes will be installed under specific sites to help prevent flooding.

Boneyard Creek has been flooding the general area around Logan and Clark streets in Champaign since the city was founded in 1861, said Eleanor Blackmon, assistant city engineer for the public works department. Because of this, a seven-phase master plan was formulated in 1990 to install storm sewers and improve roads.

“We will be reconstructing the roads, adding new street lights, putting bike lane markings, sidewalks and landscaping,” Blackmon said.

The second phase in progress involves installing an eight-by-six-foot storm sewer on Logan Street, just west of First Street, down to the west side of Randolph Street. Before hitting Randolph Street, Logan Street becomes Clark Street west of Neil Street. In addition, tributary, or small, storm sewers will be installed on Water Street, south of Logan to the Springfield Avenue viaduct.

“(The) main purpose is to reduce flooding in the viaducts to get protection to a 50-year storm level and then also to pick up the tributary drainage before it hits downtown,” Blackmon said.

Because of these road improvements, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District will be able to reinstate routes it once had going along the construction area, said Robb Patton, director of operations at MTD. Some routes going to Illinois Terminal, 45 E. University Ave., Champaign, have been changed because of the construction.

“The routes were designed to operate east and west along White Street, but as a result of the Boneyard project we have the routes out to University Avenue,” Patton said. “It isn’t exactly how we would like to operate, but that’s what we have to do.”

Routes were planned to operate along White and Third streets, but the University Avenue re-route was instated after the Boneyard Project went into effect.

Patton said once the project is completed, routes will return to how they were originally planned. To get to Illinois Terminal, service including the daytime and evening routes for the Yellow and Teal buses will run west on White Street, then north on First Street, continuing west on Chester Street to the terminal.

Routes leaving Illinois Terminal heading toward Wright Street will go south on Market Street, then east on Logan Street, which turns into White Street.

Patton said these routes are expected to run more efficiently than the University Avenue re-routes. The date of the switch to the previously planned routes depends on when public works finishes construction.

“We were digging detention basins between Springfield and University, so White Street will be reconstructed and reopened by this fall,” Blackmon said.