City Crews Spread Thin With Pothole Work, Urbana Begins Patching On Windsor
By Jeff Bossert
Heavy winter snowfall and freezing temperatures have taken their toll on many roadways, and it’s prompted lane closures as Urbana begins work in one of the worst areas for potholes.
Urbana’s Public Works department announced Thursday morning that large portions of Windsor Road, the outside lanes in each direction, will be closed as crews work continually to reconstruct or restore the pavement.
Assistant City Engineer Craig Shonkwiler said Windsor was hit with a unique chemical reaction (called alkali-silica reaction, or ASR.) He said the cement and moisture caused the road to deteriorate at a rapid rate.
Shonkwiler said spurts of heavy snowfall halted patching efforts there and elsewhere, and there’s only so many work crews available.
“We’re in a situation where we hit these snow periods, and then normally you get a warming period where maybe we can get the guys out – and patch," he said. "But what’s going on is we get a freezing period – we get immediately hit with snow again, and it’s just a vicious cycle.”
Two lanes of Windsor will likely be closed until the end of next week – that’s westbound from Vine Street to Race Street, and eastbound from Vine to Philo Road.
Shonkwiler said Urbana is getting complaints on a daily basis. He said citizens are upset - and rightly so, and they’re asking the public to be patient.
Many of the complaints to the city of Champaign apply to routes that are handled by the state – like Mattis Avenue, Prospect Avenue, and Bloomington Road.
But Public Works Spokesman Chris Koester said they’re taking comments from the public on what routes crews should address next.
“We’ll focus the majority of our staff in one area so they can fill everything that’s in an area, so that we’re not sending them from the Southwest Corner of Champaign to the northeast corner and back again," he said. "We work with our supervisor team to strategically group those requests in for service together.”
Both cities are taking complaints about vehicle damage.
In Champaign, they go to Champaign’s risk management department. Shonkwiler said Urbana’s Finance Department will review complaints like damaged tires and alignment work, and review whether to reimburse the motorist on a case by case basis.