Major Kennedy construction closures effective this weekend

Some downtown Chicago businesses are warning that this month’s weekend closures of the Kennedy Expressway will be bad for business, because the publicity over the closures may chase away tourists.

Starting late Friday evening, and running through early Monday morning, the inbound Kennedy will be virtually shut down between Chicago and Grand Avenues, to permit the removal of the old Ontario Street Bridge.

The following weekend, the same stretch of the outbound Kennedy will be closed for the same reason.

The Magnificent Mile Association says the Illinois Department of Transportation should have started publicizing the closings, and alternate transportation routes, weeks ago.

IDOT is doing the work on weekends to avoid even greater headaches for weekday rush hour commuters. A quarter million travelers use the Kennedy on a typical weekday.

The CTA will add buses and lengthen its trains, and Metra will add cars to its trains, at least during the first weekend.

If it’s any consolation, June isn’t the busiest month for Chicago tourism. The heaviest months are July and August, when the Kennedy project will already be completed.

The construction schedule and related traffic impact information is as follows:
JUNE 13, 14, 15
CONSTRUCTION PARAMETERS AND TIMEFRAME:
10 p.m. Friday – 5 a.m. Monday | Closure of 3 lanes of eastbound I-90/94 and the reversible lanes
Traffic Impacts:
Inbound Kennedy:
• Reduced to two lanes beginning approximately one mile before Ohio at Diversey
• Divert traffic around demolition site using Ohio ramp to temporary pavement back to I-90/94
• EB I-90/94 Reversibles closed
• IDOT recommends exiting onto Western Avenue as an alternative from I-90 to I-290
• The City anticipates traffic will exit Ogden Ave and using Grand Ave to access the downtown area
• Lake Shore Drive remains open in both directions
• I-55 and I-290 can be utilized by motorists traveling from the South and West sides of the city
Outbound Kennedy: One lane will be closed, with no other impacts to traffic.

Special Events Planned Over this Weekend:
• Chicago Blues Festival, Grant Park (June 13-15)
• Taste of Randolph Street, West Loop (June 13-15)
• Spring Awakening Music Festival, Solider Field (June 13-15)
• White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals series, U.S. Cellular Field (June 13-15)
• Puerto Rican Parade (June 12) and Fiestas Puertorriquenas, Humboldt Park (June 12-15)
• Romeo Santos Concert, Allstate Arena (June 13)
• Festa Pasta Vino, 2400 S. Oakley (June 13-15)
• University of Chicago graduation, Hyde Park (June 14)
• 6 Corners BBQ Fest, Portage Park (June 14, 15)
• Wells Street Art Festival, Old Town (June 14, 15)
• Old Town Arts Festival, Lincoln Avenue (June 14, 15)
JUNE 20, 21, 22
CONSTRUCTION PARAMETERS AND TIMEFRAME:
10 p.m. Friday – 5 a.m. Monday | Closure of 3 lanes of westbound I-90/94 and the reversible lanes
Traffic Impacts:
Outbound Kennedy:
• Reduced to two lanes approximately one mile before Ohio at Congress
• Diverted traffic will exit at Ohio Street to Orleans and loop back on to I-90/94
• WB Ontario to WB I-90/94 Reversibles closed
• IDOT recommends motorists using the Dan Ryan expressway exit at 35th St., head west over to Ashland Avenue
then north on Ashland Avenue to I-90
• The City anticipates that motorists on the Dan Ryan expressway will use I-55 north to Lake Shore Drive to access the
downtown area
• Ontario St. feeder ramp will be closed
• Outbound entrance ramps from Jackson to Randolph will be closed
• Lake Shore Drive remains open in both directions
• I-55 and I-290 can be utilized by motorists traveling from the South and West sides of the city

Inbound Kennedy:
• Ohio St. exit ramp will be closed
• The City anticipates motorists will exit Ogden Ave and use Grand Ave to access the downtown area
Special Events Planned Over this Weekend:
• Chicago Pride Fest, Lakeview (June 21-22)
• Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates series, Wrigley Field
• Gold Coast Art Fair, Grant Park (June 21-22)
• Green Music Fest, Wicker Park (June 21-22)
• Chicago Sky vs. Tulsa Shock, Allstate Arena (June 22)

JUNE 27, 28, 29
CONSTRUCTION PARAMETERS AND TIMEFRAME:
10 p.m. Friday – 5 a.m. Monday | Closure of eastbound I-90/94 exit to Ohio Street
Traffic Impacts:
Inbound Kennedy:
• All lanes of the Kennedy will be open
• Ohio St. exit ramp will be closed
• The City anticipates traffic will also exit Ogden Ave and use Grand Ave to access the downtown area
Outbound Kennedy:
• All lanes of the Kennedy will be open
• Ontario feeder ramp to the Dan Ryan (eastbound Kennedy) will be closed; however, the entrance lanes to the west
bound Kennedy will be open
Special Events Planned Over this Weekend:
• Chicago Gospel Musical Festival, Chicago Cultural Center (June 27) and Ellis Park (June 28-29)
• Chicago Pride Parade, North Side (June 29)
• Chinatown Dragon Boat Race for Literacy, Ping Tom Memorial Park (June 28)
• Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, Wrigley Field (June 27-28)
• ITU World Triathlon events, Loop and Lake Michigan, (June 27-29)
• Old St. Pat’s World’s Largest Block Party, West Loop, (June 27-28)

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Public transportation is strongly encouraged during the three weekends of the IDOT construction.
• The Chicago Transit Authority will have increased rail service. CTA is also encouraging the use of its Park and Ride lots
along each of its eight rail lines.
• Metra will increase seating capacity on its weekend train service. Take advantage of Metra’s $7 Weekend Pass, which
is good for unlimited rides on both Saturday and Sunday. And with Family Fares, up to three children 11 and under
can ride free with a fare-paying adult. To locate your rail line, find a station or to check a schedule, visit: www.metrarail.com
FOR TRAVEL TO/FROM CHICAGO FROM THE TRI-STATE AREA
• Motorists traveling through the city of Chicago from Indiana and Wisconsin are encouraged to use I-294 (Tri-State Toll
way) or I-80 to I-39
• From the north and west, suggested routes include I-290 and Lake Shore Drive (US-41)
• From the south, I-55 and Lake Shore Drive (US-41) may be considered. Ogden Avenue will be a posted detour for
closed ramps from the Eisenhower to Kennedy Expressways.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, GO TO: www.dot.state.il.us

 

 

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