Uni./Main projects updates before May

Streets near Bradley will see a makeover by the end of the semester – a $2.6 million makeover. 

After the water mainline under the intersection of University Street and Main Street failed on Sept. 6, 2013, City of Peoria officials decided to remodel the intersection to make it safer and more pedestrian friendly.

“The scope of the Main Street and University Street project extends well past the actual intersection and certainly will impact our campus in many positive ways,” Bradley Chief of Police  Brian Joschko said. “The new intersection and roads leading up to the intersection will be designed to calm traffic and increase pedestrian safety, both of which were concerns for Bradley.”

Main Street, leading into the intersection, will not change, but from Columbia Terrace to Moss Avenue, University Street will now be three lanes instead of four. Two lanes will continue through the intersection, and the center lane will be dedicated to turning traffic.

The intersection will also be raised. The “speed table” prohibits drivers from speeding through the intersection.

The biggest change for students who walk through the intersection will be the pedestrian walk signal, when all traffic at the intersection will be stopped for 30 seconds to allow pedestrian crossing.

Vice President of Business Affairs Gary Anna said that intersection changes will lead to greater safety.

“The safety improvements are anticipated to derive from both the physical changes to the intersection and the signaling sequences, as well as expected declines in vehicle counts coming through the area,” Anna said.

In addition to the changes to the intersection, speed tables will also be installed in the surrounding neighborhood to discourage cut-through traffic. The intersection near the Main Street Parking Deck will also be reconfigured, according to Joschko, to allow a left turn onto Main instead of only right.

“The reconstruction should also positively impact students traveling from campus across Main Street between University Street and A.J. Robertson Court,” he said. “This will be a welcomed change for those that park in the Main Street Parking Deck.”

The project will begin with water main construction, starting in February or early March and continuing for four weeks. Following that, the intersection will have lane closures for six weeks as the intersection is redone.

The construction may involve closure of the intersection for a period of time, Anna said.

“Any time there is a disruption of streets near campus it will impact our students, faculty, staff and visitors,” Joschko said. “The city has assured the university that they will communicate road closures, detours and traffic changes in advance of those changes so that motorists can plan ahead.”