It's Traffic Season: A Guide To The Jane Byrne Interchange Construction
By Jim Bochnowski in News on Mar 26, 2015 9:00PM
As the saying goes, in Chicago there’s only two seasons: winter and construction. Luckily for us, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) decided that winter is officially over, since construction of the Jane Byrne Interchange (formerly the Circle Interchange) is taking place all the way through summer of 2016. The $475 million reconstruction project started on this month, as the weather is getting milder.
The Interchange is at the junction of the Dan Ryan, Kennedy and Eisenhower expressways, which you probably know best as that area with a severe traffic jam in place every time you try to take the expressway west of downtown Chicago. This nexus has been ranked in the country's top 3 worst traffic bottleneck spots, and it's about to get worse before it gets better.
WHY?: This construction is meant to create a "flyover bridge," a one mile long, two-lane ramp that will begin south of Roosevelt Rd. and connect to the Eisenhower expressway. IDOT claims that this construction project will reduce traffic delays by 50 percent.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?: Fortunately, our friends at IDOT have provided a
confusing helpful guide to the construction, which you can find right here. In short, anybody who regularly commutes through the interchange will likely face significant logjams over the course of the next year. Luckily, the IDOT has provided a helpful graphic to decipher these road closings.
NO BUT REALLY, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
- The ramp from the inbound Dan Ryan to inbound Congress will be closed
- The ramp from Roosevelt Rd. to Congress will be closed
- The ramp from Taylor St. to the inbound Dan Ryan will be closed
- A number of other ramps will face significant lane closures
Additionally, during the summer, as construction crews place support beams for the "flyover bridge," some parts of the expressway will be completely shut down, so start stocking up on supplies in advance. But hey, at least future commuters won't have to sit in traffic as long. For those traveling now, welcome to your commuter nightmare.