Kennedy construction ahead of schedule, lanes reopened overnight

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The massive Kennedy Expressway construction project to remove the old Ontario Street bridge will not only wrap up earlier that planned, but it will be completed in just two weekends, not three.

The Illinois Department of Transportation says the demolition of the bridge was finished much earlier than planned Saturday.   So the inbound lanes of the Kennedy Expressway were reopened to traffic by 10pm Saturday.  The reversible lanes from Division to Ohio will be reopened before 12 p.m. Sunday and the Ohio Street feeder ramp will remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday.

Originally, IDOT planned to have all lanes closed until 5 a.m. Monday.

The expedited work was a relief to drivers early Sunday after delays stretched for miles on the Kennedy Saturday.

Alternatives routes through Chicago and around the city experienced heavy traffic as drivers sought out other ways to get around and avoid the Kennedy backups.

Many drivers heading downtown took the advice of IDOT and packed Metra and CTA trains.

Work on the bridge will now wrap up next weekend.  The outbound lanes of the Kennedy will be closed as the remain part of the Ontario bridge is demolished.  That work will begin Friday, June 20th at 10pm and lanes are expected to reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, June 23rd.

Drivers are again encouraged to find alternatives to the Kennedy or avoid the area all together.

The 55-year-old bridge is being removed as part of an $18 million reconstruction of the Ohio/Ontario interchange.

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