MCORE moving forward

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. - Updated: 3:30 pm, Sunday, 3/5/17

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- Construction on the MCORE project starts on Monday, and that means some bus routes are changing.

A portion of Green street in Champaign will be closed. Signs are posted right now to let drivers know about it. The $44 million project will re-design roads around Campustown to make them more accessible for buses, bike riders, and pedestrians. Here's a list of the bus route adjustments during construction:

5/50 East Green and GREENhopper – Neil to Springfield to Fourth to Green to regular route.

5/50 West Green and GREENhopper – Green to Fourth to Springfield to Neil to regular route.

5 East Green Express – Springfield to Fourth to Green to regular route.

5 West Green Express – Green to Fourth to Springfield to regular route.

MTD says customers are encouraged to visit the MTD website at for more information.

Original: 6:43 pm, Monday, 2/6/17

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- On March 6, we could see construction start on the Champaign-Urbana MCORE project. The $44 million project will make transportation safer and easier between the two cities, with a focus around the University of Illinois campus area.

The first sections that will be taken care of include Green Street, from Wright Street to Busey Avenue; Green Street, from Neil Street to Fourth Street; White street, from Second Street to Wright Street; and Wright Street, from White Street to Springfield Avenue. Two other segments will be done later.

There are mixed feelings about moving forward. Project leaders are excited to get this all started, but it also means there will be closed roads, detours and other issues to deal with pretty soon. They say it'll all be worth it in the end.

Green Street is busy and there are plenty more spots like it around there as well. A big construction project aims to make sure everyone gets where they need to be safely and more efficiently.

"This is one of the largest projects ever to come to the Champaign-Urbana area," said Champaign public works spokesperson Kris Koester.

Project leaders hoped to get started back in the fall, but after bids came in too high, they had to be redone. Now they're ready to move forward this spring. Koester says it's going to stay busy for a while.

"It'll be a continuous activity of construction around the campus area probably now through 2020, probably through 2021," said Koester.

Sidewalks will be rebuilt to be wider, as will lanes on the roads. That will help buses make their way through campus. Between now and when it all wraps up, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District managing director Karl Gnadt expects some rough patches.

"The way the streets are configured around campus may cause us to have some reroutes that are not very convenient for our customers," said Gnadt. "And they're not going to like that and we're certainly not going to like that and we'll do the best we can to mitigate the impact from that."

They're going to try to keep at least one lane of traffic open, but that will depend on the contractors.

"When it's all done, it's going to be great I think it will really be a safety enhancement for the campus area and the corridors around campus," said Gnadt.

Project leaders say they know construction can be a hassle, but they're looking forward to the finished product.

"We know that sometimes it affects people's lives on a daily basis, so we really appreciate the cooperation of everyone who uses these streets," said Koester.

If you use those roads, you might want to check for detours ahead of time. There will be signs posted. City leaders also say businesses along Green Street will be open through the construction. Most of the work will be done by contractors.

Duce Construction is taking care of that. Champaign public works will oversee the project. They'll also be in charge of making sure they stay within the budget and do paperwork that needs to be done for grant money.

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