CHICAGO —Starting 6 p.m. Sunday, one northbound and one southbound lane of Lake Shore Drive will close to traffic from LaSalle Street to Monroe Street as the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) begins work on two major projects slated for completion ahead of the Chicago Marathon in October.
The inner lanes are part of a stretch of road utilized by 111,000 users every day. According to CDOT First Deputy Commissioner Tom Carney, making big, around-the-clock closures in this timeframe will help crews get the work done quickly.
"Both projects are in urgent need; we haven’t resurfaced that section of LSD in about 15 years, and that’s our segment of LSD that we have the most potholes and car damage this past winter," Carney said.
In addition to filling potholes, crews will resurface the road between Grand Avenue and Monroe Street, in addition to the ramps at at Randolph Street, Illinois Street and Lower Wacker Drive.
As crews work there, urgent repairs will also be made on the Lake Shore Drive bridge over LaSalle Street at North Avenue. Closures on LaSalle Street for those improvements already began Tuesday.
The two projects will affect more than 2.5 miles of Lake Shore Drive, and officials are asking motorists to avoid that stretch if they can by taking public transit, the Dan Ryan or the Kennedy Expressway instead.
"It’s going to be very congested so people please look at other options, how to get to work, get home or get through there," Carney said.
So why fit so much work on a major roadway into a tiny timeframe? Chicago is a very busy city, with a lot happening along the lakefront this time of year.
"We found a window between the Chicago Triathalon and the Chicago Marathon is in early October; this is the best window to not impact those events and we have a lot of traffic on those weekends as well," Carney said.
Visit the City of Chicago's website for the latest updates on the project.