Thank you to all who submitted comments, questions, and notes of support for the Illinois Terminal Expansion Project. Responses are provided below for questions received that pertain to the scope of the Project. Questions may be rephrased for clarity.
What will the expansion of Illinois Terminal look like?
The expansion will have a similar aesthetic to the existing Illinois Terminal building. Neighboring properties include historic buildings so the design features for the expansion of Illinois Terminal will be coordinated with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources State Historic Preservation Office to ensure consistency with the existing visual character of the area. Design will comply with City of Champaign’s zoning standards and will include landscaping, lighting, and materials, colors, and architectural style that complements the existing terminal building. Conceptual designs are provided to show the scale of the expansion but do not represent the final design of the building. Design will begin in early 2021.
What will the green space look like?
The existing parking lot in front of Illinois Terminal will be converted into a circular driveway, platforms for intercity and rural bus services, and green space. The open space area has not yet been designed but is expected to be approximately 0.25 of an acre. The green space will include landscaping, including trees lining the sidewalks. Design of the area will begin in early 2021.
Will the pickup spot on the second floor only be for taxis and rideshares, or will it be open to anyone?
There will be designated spaces on the second floor of the parking deck for taxis and rideshares, but the passenger pickup and drop off area will be open to anyone.
Will this Project change the intersections at Logan Street and Walnut Street or Walnut Street and White Street?
The Illinois Terminal Expansion Project will not disturb the recently improved intersections. Preliminary traffic analyses show that no roadway improvements will be needed at these intersections.
What public outreach is being conducted to obtain input on this Project?
Due to COVID-19, we are taking action to keep the community and our staff safe and healthy. Rather than in-person open houses for the kick-off of the Project, we provided a virtual presentation for review and printed handouts of the presentation were available at the Customer Service Desk at Illinois Terminal. There are a number of options for commenting on the Project or asking questions, including the following:
Fill out the comment form on this website
Submit an email to Info@ITETheYards.com
Mail a comment to Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, 1101 E. University Ave., Urbana, Illinois 61802
Complete a comment form available at the Customer Service Desk at Illinois Terminal
Although there are formal comment periods during which all comments submitted will be included in the Environmental Assessment, comments may be submitted at any time. All comments will be forwarded to the Project Team for review and consideration.
As Project design progresses and the Environmental Assessment is refined, we will hold one-on-one meetings with some neighboring facilities and community organizations to obtain input from a variety of community perspectives. The Environmental Assessment will be available for public review in early 2021 and a hearing will be conducted to receive formal public comment on the Project. Use the Project Comment Form or email us to sign up for the mailing list and receive notifications for the public hearing.
Will the Project improve on-time performance?
Dedicated platforms and less congestion during peak hours and universal transfers will make the boarding process quicker and safer, improving reliability and adherence to set schedules.
Will the Project include amenities such as restrooms with rentable showers?
The Project will include expanded waiting areas for increased comfort and new retail. Showers in the restrooms are not included in the Project at this time.
Will there be an opportunity to provide services for the design of the project?
Procurement for design and construction of the Project will be completed following MTD’s procurement policies and processes. Visit https://mtd.org/inside/public-info/documents/document-categories/bid-postings/ for bid opportunities.
How will this Project be funded and is federal and private funding secure, given the financial burdens of COVID-19?
MTD received a Bus and Bus Facilities Grant from the Federal Transit Administration to help fund the Project. This grant, along with MTD’s federal formula funds, will provide $20.5 million for the project. The remaining funding will come from MTD’s local capital reserves, private developer Core Spaces, TIF revenue, and other local funding sources. The funding agreements with Core Spaces and the City of Champaign are currently in negotiations.
Is a smaller expansion feasible?
The Illinois Terminal Expansion Project as proposed is being completed as a Joint Development Project, which integrates transit and transit-supportive improvements, such as parking, office, retail, and residential units. The private investment in the Joint Development Project is being leveraged to utilize the FTA funding. Any reduction in the scope of the Project would reduce the benefit and potentially reduce the private investment.
What’s the timeline for the Project?
An Environmental Assessment will be published for public review and comment in early 2021. Following the close of the public comment period, FTA will consider the impacts identified in the Environmental Assessment, proposed mitigation, and public input. FTA may issue a Finding of No Significant Impact or a directive to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. A decision by FTA is expected in mid-2021.
Design of the Project is anticipated to begin in early 2021. If a Finding of No Significant Impact is issued, construction of the Project may begin in early 2022 and would be anticipated to be complete in 2023 or 2024. This schedule is subject to change.
Who will the Project serve and what security will be provided as part of the Illinois Terminal Expansion?
The expansion of Illinois Terminal is intended to enhance its position as a focal point of the city center in Downtown Champaign, serving MTD passengers, all community members, passenger rail and intercity bus riders, students, business travelers, downtown residents, and visitors to the area. The safety and security of all visitors to Illinois Terminal is the highest priority for MTD. Consistent with a robust culture of safety within the MTD organization, safety and security needs will be determined during final design through coordination with employees, first responders, and other community organizations.
Support for the Illinois Terminal Expansion Project
“I can't wait to see it when it's finished as ultimately the project will spawn more support for public transportation thus helping the environment by cutting down the need for a vehicle.
Looks like a great idea all around. Hope it goes through!
As our community grows, the new facility will be a welcomed addition for Champaign. We’re especially interested in the emphasis on connecting Downtown, Midtown, and the U of I campus. The new plan alleviates the congestion of the current terminal parking space.
It’s going to be awesome when it’s done.