Consensus is Windsor is the worst

By Anna Carrera

Published 02/20 2014 05:32PM

Updated 02/21 2014 05:33PM

Update: 4:00 pm, 2/21/14, Friday
URBANA -- Potholes on Windsor Road are making travel treacherous. Now, city leaders are looking for ways to fill them in as soon as possible. Mayor Laurel Prussing says it's become the city's new top priority. Crews blocked of the outside lanes to fill holes. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera finds out about plans for a more permanent fix.

One of the city's engineers says paying for a new road would take up the entire budget for the next three to four years, but Mayor Prussing has a different idea for getting it done.

You probably don't need a sign to tell you Windsor Road is pretty rough. Drivers even have a few ideas for how to make it better.

"The whole thing, tear the whole thing up and do it again," said Mark Ried, who drives on the road. "I heard the concrete wasn't too good."

He heard right. There's a chemical reaction happening which makes the concrete crack and disintegrate. Engineers were looking at trying to redo the whole thing in the next few years.

"A few years? It needs to be done now," said Ried. 

After thinking about it, that's what Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing decided to do.

"We'd like to do it this summer because it's a critical road," said Prussing. "This is such a busy thoroughfare that we have to get it done."

Engineers are already investigating the situation, but it's probably going to cost a lot to fix; about $6 million.

"My joke solution was that we haven't been getting a million dollars a year now from Carle since they decided not to pay their property taxes, so if they'd like to contribute six million, maybe we could name the road after them: Carle Hospital Road," said Prussing. 

All kidding aside, the mayor says they hope to get $3 million from federal and state funds and the other $3 million from bonds. But drivers say, wherever the money comes from, they'll be happy to get a smoother ride.

"That's what we pay or taxes for, so a new road is good," said Ried.

The road is about 22 years old. Workers have already improved a stretch of it between Philo and High Cross. The plan is to keep a lane of traffic going each way throughout the project so traffic can keep moving.
Original: 5:32 pm, 2/20/14, Thursday
URBANA -- If you've done any driving lately, you've no doubt seen and felt how rough some roads are. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera finds out which road local leaders say is worst.

Without question, they say Windsor Road is having an unusual chemical reaction, making it deteriorate faster than other roads in the area. That's why they're closing off two lanes of traffic and looking into other options for making the ride smoother.

"Obviously, there's a lot of potholes right now."

That may be an understatement if you take a trip through parts of town.

"Windsor Road is our worst set of roads from Race to Philo."

In the middle of the winter that just won't end, city leaders say they're doing the best they can.

"We have what we call a cold patch, which is an asphalt mix. But, it generally comes out because of the wet weather. We're just basically trying to band-aid the roads until we can get to better weather in the spring."

With gaping holes swallowing up hubcaps and spitting them back out, drivers are getting creative. Some are swerving to sidestep the potholes, while others just take things nice and slow.

"This is like a serious first world problem and I'm not that worried about it because the city collects taxes for a reason and they're going to fix it when it's possible for them to fix it."

To fix the problem permanently, the assistant city engineer says they're hoping to repave the road or redo it altogether.

"The preliminary estimate to reconstruct that road is about $6 million. That's about three-and-a-half to four years of my budget."

Until they decide what to do, they're thinking warm thoughts and wishing winter weather would go away soon.

"The pitchers and catchers for Major League Baseball reported, so spring's on its way, and we're just trying to get there."

The outside lanes, going both ways, are closed until further notice. The city also plans to put up new speed limit signs Friday, dropping the speed from 40 to 30 miles per hour.

There are reports of cities running out of salt, but what about pothole filler? There's a plant in town which makes it once a week. So far, there haven't been any problems with shortages.

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