The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Construction on Lake Shore Drive "Escape Routes" Begins

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 31, 2011 6:45PM

AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato
Hoping to avoid future images like the one to the right of this post, city road crews began construction of escape routes on Lake Shore Drive to provide immediate egress from the road when the snow gets so bad plows can't keep the drive clean.

Two openings in the median at Armitage Avenue and Schiller Street are being installed, using movable concrete barriers to provide emergency-only turnaround access to the Drive's northbound and southbound lanes. The openings will be large enough for buses and large trucks to pass and were chosen because they're prone to snow drifts and have limited emergency access, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Construction is expected to last through November and the Drive's inside lanes between Armitage and Goethe will be closed in both directions throughout. The City Office of Emergency Management and Communications released a Blizzard "after action" report in June that, among other things, called for more median breaks and exit points along Lake Shore Drive to help avoid the images of hundreds of cars snowed in and stranded on the roadway in the days following the Blizzard of 2011.