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Multi-million dollar road project predicts expansion

URBANA -- City leaders hope new roads will kick-start the growing process.
URBANA -- City leaders hope new roads will kick-start the growing process. Construction on High Cross Road begins next week. The work will extend from University Avenue to Washington and it will make the road two lanes in each direction. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau has more details about the project.

It's expected to cost $7.7 million, but it's being funded by the state's Illinois Jobs Now program. Even though construction may be a pain at the beginning, leaders and business owners in the area are excited about what it means for the future.

Ray Lantz is no stranger to High Cross Road.

"I come here everyday. More than I want, yes."

He's the owner of Carpet Advantage and the only way in and out is here.

"It's going to add a couple minutes to my commute everyday."

And also for his customers.

"I hope it doesn't distract anybody from getting over to this part of Urbana."

But, even though the initial thought of the construction seemed scary to Ray, he couldn't help but see the benefits.

"I'm glad that the state of Illinois and Urbana think this is an important enough part of town to spend $7 million."

"We see that, as our growth corridor, that High Cross Road area, there's opportunities for retail offices, even housing on either side of High Cross Road."

So, starting next week, construction crews will work throughout the summer and into December. The plan? Widening High Cross Road to two lanes in each direction, adding drainage and upgrading signals at the intersections.

"It's good to have the state and the city thinking it's important to be out here. That's a good thing for me."

One of the growth opportunities is Menards. The company already bought the land a few years ago, but have yet to set plans on breaking ground. Officials hope the new road will help them pull the trigger.
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