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Construction Project Aims To Fix Dangerous Damen-Elston-Fullerton Intersection

By Rachel Cromidas in News on May 27, 2015 4:30PM

The bad news: The intersection of Damen, Elston and Fullerton is about to get trickier. The good news: It's only temporary as transportation officials begin work on a new road project to better improve safety and congestion at the six-way crossing.

After years of debate, The Department of Transportation is moving forward with a $60 million plan to ease traffic at the epic cluster by rerouting Elston Avenue north of the intersection. And it couldn't come a moment sooner as CDOT traffic stats suggest that drivers can wait up to seven minutes to get through the passing during its busiest times, and it is often ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous intersections in terms of crashes.

Construction starts Thursday and could last until late 2016, the Tribune reports. During the bulk of the work, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction on parts of Damen and Elston avenues north of Fullerton, where CDOT will also be partially demolishing a building at 2020 W. Fullerton Avenue. The project will also take up a parcel of land owned by Vienna Beef, CDOT officials told the Tribune, as the sausage company relocates its plant to Bridgeport.

To avoid the construction, drivers and cyclists are advised to take nearby Clybourn Avenue running northwest and southeast, Diversey and Webster avenues and Cortland Street running east and west and Ashland Avenue running north and south. But with the exception of Cortland and parts of Clybourn, there is no contiguous route where cyclists have their own designated bike lane to get through the intersection, as they do on Elston, so if you are biking you might want a backup plan for the near future.