School Street, between Vernon Avenue and Beaufort Street – also known as the School Street underpass – will be closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic beginning Monday and will remain closed through Sunday, Sept. 29 for replacement of the Union Pacific RR Bridge steel superstructure.
A detour route for vehicles and pedestrians will be established on Vernon Avenue and Beaufort Street. Westbound traffic on Vernon Avenue from School Street to Beaufort Street, and eastbound traffic on Beaufort Street from Vernon Avenue to School Street will be reduced to one lane.
A temporary concrete barrier will protect the pedestrian route on the roadway around the School St. underpass.
Union railway is putting a more substantial separation between the double tracks that are on top of the bridge, The Town of Normal’s town engineer Gene Brown said.
Use of the underpass is very limited, Gene said, so he expects vehicular traffic to be substantially disrupted.
“Probably more pedestrians use it than vehicles, but even then the traffic control plan has a designated pedestrian detour route that’s protected with concrete walls that will be in the street, so really even pedestrians don’t have to go much more than a block out of the way,” Brown said.
Vice President for finance and planning Dan Layzell agreed that the closing’s impact on ISU students and the Town of Normal will be limited.
Layzell said, “I think the only impact on students and others who use the underpass will be a little additional time required during the temporary closure to get back and forth to campus.”