Weather adds delay to overnight construction project

By Anna Carrera

Published 03/12 2014 04:06PM

Updated 03/12 2014 05:47PM

MAHOMET -- Winter weather Wednesday morning caused a big back up on roads across Champaign County. Drivers sat in stop-and-go traffic for upwards of an hour, especially around one area.

Part of the highway was already supposed to be closed until 6 am. Tuesday night was the first day of construction for people working on a bridge over I-74. So, the westbound lanes were closed at 10 pm and traffic was rerouted.

But, instead of reopening the highway like they were supposed to at 6 am, it stayed shut down for more than four extra hours. Traffic in and around town got backed up because cars used State Route 47, US Route 150 and Prairieview Road instead.

People at Mahomet Car Connection, which is along 150, say traffic impacted their work as well.

"It took us hours over what we should have taken to get our parts because most of our parts come in from Champaign," said Tyler Scott, who is a salesman at Mahomet Car Connection. "All the traffic backed up so they couldn't get it to us."

IDOT's District 5 project implementation engineer Kensil Garnett says workers got delayed in setting new metal beams. Both wind and snow played a part in that. They expect things to go much more smoothly from now one. There are still overnight lane closures expected for the next few days and a few more next week.

The contractor in charge, Stark Excavating, faces fines of $1,500 an hour for each hour roads stayed closed past 6 am. It's entire contract is worth about $4.3 million.

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