Urbana roundabout wraps up construction, adds safety features

The nearly $2 million dollar project to transform Urbana’s roundabout was finished Friday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Caption
The nearly $2 million dollar project to transform Urbana’s roundabout was finished Friday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Work on Urbana’s Monument Square roundabout is complete after nearly six months of construction. The infrastructure now has several new safety features geared toward helping people cross the street safely and slowing down traffic.

The price tag for the project totals about $1.8 million.

A truck apron was added around the center of the roundabout for increased maneuverability, as well as flashers at each of the roundabout’s crosswalks. The flashers signal to drivers to stop when someone wants to cross the street. Center splitter islands were also added to the crosswalks so someone can stop there if necessary to finish crossing safely.

LOCAL: Longtime Springfield insurance agency opens location in Urbana

The project has been a test of patience for downtown Urbana business owners. Carmazzi’s Delicatessen and Candy and Cafe Paradiso owners, Pat and Patsy Thackery said the quadrant of the square where the candy store sits has been the staging area for construction crews’ equipment and supplies.

“We’ve had no parking, so yes our business is down (at Carmazzi’s) but we are confident that as soon as everything’s done, it’ll be back to normal,” said Patsy Thackery.

But Pat Thackery said business at Cafe Paradiso, on the quadrant of the square east of Carmazzi’s has actually picked up. He said their best weekend in 13 years was when Cafe Paradiso’s corner was closed for construction.

Thackery, also a city councilman, said over the years, he’s witnessed several accidents on the square.

City officials have previously said over a three-year study period — there were 60 crashes.

Thackery said he’s hopeful that the improvements made are a step in the right direction to keep people safe.

“We moved back here like 26, 27 years ago, and this is the biggest project I’ve seen,” he said. “I think all said and done — spring when the flowers are planted — everybody is gonna be proud of this circle.”

URBANA: Champaign County commissions $40K study to assess housing potential

Over at Oxner’s General Store, cashier Charma Brown said the completion of the project wrapped up just in time. Downtown Urbana’s Holiday Open House is happening this weekend, where stores and restaurants will be open with extended hours for customers.

She said pedestrian safety comes first and foremost, and she’s already noticed drivers slowing down and being more aware of people crossing the streets.

“I just think if people will be patient, work together and embrace it — the roundabout is going to be a fantastic change for Urbana,” Brown said.

Funding for the project comes from an Ohio Department of Transportation Safety Grant, an ODOT Small Cities Grant, an ODOT Urban Resurfacing Grant and funds from the Ohio Public Works Commission for water main replacements.

Water mains downtown were also improved as part of the project.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the roundabout will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at Legacy Park.


$1.8M — Approximate cost of project

25K — Cars that pass through Monument Square daily

6 — Phases of construction

The News-Sun has walked readers through the phases of the Urbana roundabout reconstruction since the project began in May. The City of Urbana will have a ribbon cutting on Tuesday at 4 p.m.