Changes from summer construction can be noticed around campus as students return

By Vivienne Henning, Assistant news editor

As a majority of students left campus for the summer, many construction projects took place all over campus—most, but not all, had the intention of being completed before students returned.

One of the most notable is the Multimodal Corridor Enhancement, or MCORE project, that began in March. The MCORE, which will be completed in five stages or projects, is aiming to ease the flow of traffic in several areas of Champaign and Urbana.

Project 1 took place along Green Street, from Wright Street to Busey Avenue, in front of the Illini Union. A transit boarding island is being built, along with protected bicycle lanes and new landscaping on the north side of the Union.

There was a small period of delay of about a week due to the state budget impasse. Steve Breitwieser, customer relations and communications contact for MCORE, said there was a small period not utilized, so there was a small adjustment to their work timeline.

“Corporations were being made to take the equipment and stop the work on site for what was requested by IDOT, or the Illinois Department of Transportation,” he said.

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Project 1 is expected to be mostly complete by Sept. 1. There will still be associated closures as different phases of the MCORE projects begin. In the fall semester, Green Street from Matthews to Goodwin Avenue will be closed.

The other projects also aim to ease flow of transportation in various parts of the community: Project 2 takes place on Green Street, from Neil to Fourth Street; Project 3 is on White Street, spanning from Second to Wright Street, and Wright Street, stretching from White Street to Springfield Avenue; Project 4 is on Armory Avenue, from Fourth to Wright Street, and Wright Street, from Armory to Springfield Avenue; and Project 5 takes place on Green Street, from Busey Avenue to Race Street.

All projects are predicted to be completed by December 2019.

Breitwieser said the MCORE projects aim to keep the public updated on their construction progress, and recently released drone video footage on their Twitter account.

“The important thing to keep in mind is that it’s on schedule,” he said.

Breitwieser also said that a big improvement on Project 2 happened on Aug. 18, with the reopening of First Street to Green Street for two-way traffic. Before that date, construction constricted the flow of traffic on that street to be strictly southbound.

“It’s exciting to see … the project continue to move along. It’s very encouraging,” he said. “Going back to the start of the construction, we appreciate everyone’s patience and hope they’re equally excited about the improvements being brought forth.”

Breitwieser said he asks people to continue to look and familiarize themselves with where the continued closures will be. There will be signage to help people navigate the closures, sidewalks and crosswalks.

Since there are still closures on Green Street, it’s important to check the MTD bus site for the most up to date route information. There are still route adjustments in place due to construction closures.

In addition to MCORE, there were plenty of other construction projects and improvements made over the course of the summer:

  • The Activities and Recreation Center and the Campus Recreation Center East both underwent painting projects, had locker and lock replacements as well as court floor replacements.
  • The University of Illinois Ice Arena had a portable ice refrigeration system installed, had locker and lock replacements as well as a painting project.
  • The Armory finalized their Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning renovation, remodeled the south exterior envelope and first and second floor offices, installed new indoor throwing cage and made life safety corrections.
  • The Everitt Laboratory Renovation for the Grainger Engineering Breakthrough Initiative was completed.
    Both the Engineering Sciences Building and Loomis Laboratory underwent energy performance contracting.
  • The Noyes Laboratory underwent a renovation for their Nanoscale Theory Center, had west classroom renovations and some electrical upgrades.

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